Could Google+ ever have been anything but a failure?

“Could Google+ ever have been anything but a failure?” Devin Coldewey asks for TechCrunch.

“To attempt to build something new, a la Apple, with the assurance that company likes to make (‘This is the best way, which is why we made it the only way’) is not a Google strength,” Coldewey writes. “They just aren’t good at making new things. Never have been. Making existing things easier, faster, more accessible — sure. But inventing them? Not so much. So the idea that they were going to invent a new way to share should have rung alarm bells to begin with.”

“Sharing was never broken; Google merely found that they were losing a battle [for which] they had not even prepared,” Coldewey writes. “Their declaration of war was a declaration of defeat.”

“Is Google+ the iPhone to Facebook’s Palm Pilot? Surely not. Who judged that it was? That person is incompetent,” Coldewey writes. “What was Google+? A single product, made to compete with an entire ecosystem. A product, moreover, lacking the single most important ingredient: users. Now, unless you are sure that your product is far, far better than what’s out there, you are not the hawk. Steve Jobs knew he was the hawk in 2007, and he knew that what he was doing would break its prey. The look on his face while he describes the competition is one of sheer predatory glee.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Daniel N.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
James Whittaker: Why I left Google – March 14, 2012
Google+ to boost features, integrate Google Apps accounts, add pseudonyms soon – October 20, 2011
A eulogy for Google+ – August 15, 2011
Free Google+ for iPhone app debuts in Apple App Store – July 19, 2011


  1. It is another way to do what Facebook already does instead of being something far greater. I find its easy enough to use but there is not enough there that is unique to really keep my interest.

    If they launched this 10 years ago it might have been something.

  2. Jeez!! Is it just me or does this guy try way too hard to write in an intelligent manner while not being at all understandable!! His sentences are just rubbish and detract from what is a fairly valid point. Any English teacher would cringe at this attempt to write.

    1. I agree that real life connecting is great, but the difference between us is that, while we both have to wait until it’s convenient for both us and our friends to connect and meet with each other in real life, I also use the option to connect with them right now, or any time of day, through social website. I get the best of both worlds, but for some reason, you mysteriously deny yourself one option to connect with your friends. Remember, connecting with a friend through a social website doesn’t mean that can no longer connect with them in real life… You can do both, you know.

      Your comment is like someone in the early history of the twentieth century saying, “Talk with a friend on a telephone? Humph, no telephone for me! I prefer waiting until I can walk across town to talk with my friends in “real life”, but I realize I am becoming a minority.”

      If you deny yourself a way of connecting and sharing with people, you’re just denying yourself FROM connecting and sharing with people.

  3. Google+ lacked only one thing: a killer app.

    It had registered users, and easy-to-convert users. It had a very successful competitor with a large number of frustrated users.

    Google+ had a ton of people who wanted it to succeed, or who were industry influencers who needed to get on board in fear that it did succeed.

    However as the masses entered the building ready for the party to begin, there simply was no music, no drinks, and no food.

    A killer app for Google+ may have seemed unobtainable since the frustration with Facebook was in part based on Farmville and Mafia Wars type crap that spammed people’s daily social interaction on the one hand, and on the other hand we’d all already caught up with that old ex-girlfriend or boyfriend and either hooked up or at least judged our lives against theirs.

    Ah, but in the meantime, since Google+ launched and fell flat, other successful social apps that could have lived within the Google+ platform have sprouted up…Pinterest anyone???

    Google can build Web apps. They have the engineers. Their engineers were asked to build a social network, and they did. The functional spec is all there. That wasn’t good enough though.

    They needed the initiative to be driven by at least one person with creative vision who demanded features in the product for themselves.

  4. “Making existing things easier, faster, more accessible ”

    Okay, when the hell has Google ever made anything easier, faster, and more accessible?

    From my experience, over time they only make things harder, slower, and less accessible.

    Take their search engine. Several years ago it used to work perfectly, and now it’s a borderline unusable piece of shit. As an example, try searching for this:

    “quake 2” -“quake 3” -“quake 4”

    And be amazed that the first hit is a site for Quake 3, even though it’s supposed to be negated from the damn search. And it also appears to be searching for the number 3 in general. And let’s not forget how it will helpfully auto-“correct” your keywords and turn them in to something else entirely, like a few days ago one of my keywords was “woo” but Google changed it to “wii” because it’s made of fail. Easier? Faster? More accessible? Umm, no.

    I would LIKE to use a different search engine, but nobody else indexes as many sites as Google does. So I’m forced to use it to get the widest range of hits, even though I have to deal with 70% of them being wrong. The other search engines would give me far less wrong hits, but they’d also give me far less right hits, too. It’s the Windows of search: a fiasco of a product that people use because they have to.

    Apple, please save us with the Mac OS of search. Pretty please?

    1. Agreed that logical searches don’t work right.

      Also, maddening that the old clean zingy Google search devolved into this crufty ad-motivated thing that the pirates and even Google itself exploits for nefarious-type gain.

      Starry eyed idealists at first, turned into washed up thugs mugging you for pocket change, is what I think of Google.

      Don’t Be Evil – that is, Until the money trough starts dryin’ up ’cause your store has become the five and dime and the rich kids are shoppin’ elsewhere.

  5. Those that poo poo Google+ by comparing it to facebook and facebook’s user base have no idea about what Google+ really is or it’s purpose.

    It’s an identity platform used to compile information about you, who you are, where you are and who you are connected to. It then will use that data to provide customized search results and advertising.

    Does it work? Not really yet. The results suck.

    However, if you think Google really cares if you participate on the G+ network your are probably mistaken.

    Any new Google signup requires the creation of a + account. Google will be rolling out a commenting platform soon as well.

    Plussing or commenting on pages will avoid the need for users to participate on the actual internal network.

  6. Google+ works just fine. Just because your friends and family haven’t joined doesn’t mean it lacks a userbase. It’s a far better way to interact with new people and make new friends than FB. Follow the right people, and you’ll get great results.

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