A Google software engineer who accidentally broadcast a 4,578-word rant about the company’s failings saved his toughest criticism for the Google+ service.
Google software engineer Steve Yegge, wrote a 4,578-word rant about the failings of Google as a company, intended as a no-holds-barred internal critique, and then inadvertently published it to the entire world.
Yegge saved some of his harshest criticism for Google+, which Google has poured seemingly bottomless development resources into.
Here are some samples:
Google+ is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership (hi Larry, Sergey, Eric, Vic, howdy howdy) down to the very lowest leaf workers (hey yo). We all don’t get it. The Golden Rule of platforms is that you Eat Your Own Dogfood. The Google+ platform is a pathetic afterthought. We had no API at all at launch, and last I checked, we had one measly API call. One of the team members marched in and told me about it when they launched, and I asked: “So is it the Stalker API?” She got all glum and said “Yeah.” I mean, I was joking, but no… the only API call we offer is to get someone’s stream. So I guess the joke was on me.
Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that’s not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone. Some people spend all their time on Mafia Wars. Some spend all their time on Farmville. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there’s something there for everyone.
Our Google+ team took a look at the aftermarket and said: “Gosh, it looks like we need some games. Let’s go contract someone to, um, write some games for us.” Do you begin to see how incredibly wrong that thinking is now? The problem is that we are trying to predict what people want and deliver it for them.
“…a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product.”
I have said on this blog that Google Plus is scheduled to fail and I have a $1000 bet with a friend that it will end in less than 12 months.
I have a Google Plus account but here’s a dirty little open secret: I don’t know why.
The truth is I got it just in case it does someday have some value but I can tell you that I have checked in to my account once or twice since I got it.
Now I am also a bit of an anomaly since I am not on FaceBook as well but I can absolutely see the value of Facebook if that’s your thing.
My question of the day for you guys is below.