A lot of buzz on the interwebs today about Facebook’s apparent third effort to build their own smart phone, and people trying to dissect the reasoning behind it.
For Facebook, the motivation is clear; as a newly public company, it must find new sources of revenue, and it fears being left behind in mobile, one of the most promising areas for growth.
There is a saying, generals spend a lot of time planning how to fight the last war and are therefore surprised by the new one when it occurs. In this case, Bilton and Simpson are focused on the current smartphone marketplace, the one dominated by Apple and Google, where social has largely been an afterthought, and where social capabilities have been provided by apps, like Facebook in a browser. (Leaving aside Apple’s partial integration of Twitter into iOS.)
The next war will be won by the players that build the best social experience into the guts of next generation smartphones. Social capabilities will be wired into the device at a foundational level, not at the application level. And this is why Facebook must develop its own operating system and mobile devices that run it. It must square off with Apple, Google, and, yes, Microsoft still has a chance, here.
Recruiters often asked me to help sell high priority candidates on the company. No one had to ask me twice to promote Google and no one was more surprised than me when I could no longer do so. In fact, my last three months working for Google was a whirlwind of desperation, trying in vain to get my passion back.
The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.
“Google+ solves Google’s big problems, at least in theory. It delivers a social network—arguably better constructed Facebook—that lets it understand the connections between people. It also lets Google tap into a stream of real-time data, and build a search system around that without having to worry that it will ever be left at the altar.And it does so much more, too! It has real time photos, like Instagram. It has a video chat service, like Skype. It lets you see which businesses your friends recommend, like Yelp. It’s a one size fits all solution, and what’s more it’s on the open Web. Perfect!One problem: People don’t really want to use it. They’re already entrenched in other stuff. Many of Google’s recent actions can be explained by understanding that dilemma. Google wants to know things about you that you aren’t already telling it so you will continue asking it questions and it can continue serving ads against the questions you ask it.So, it feels like it has to herd people into using Google+ whether they want to go there or not. This explains why Google has been driving privacy advocates crazy and polluting its search results. It explains why now, on the Google homepage, there’s a big ugly black bar across the top that reminds you of all its properties. It explains the glaring red box with the meaningless numbers that so desperately begs you to come see what’s happening in its anti-social network. It explains why Google is being a bully.It explains why Google broke search: Because to remain relevant it has to give real-world answers. Google has to get you under its tent, and break down all the silos between its individual products once you’re there. It needs you to reveal your location, your friends, your history, your desires, your finances; nothing short of your essence. And it needs to combine all that knowledge together.That’s Search Plus Your World. “Your World” is not just your friends, or your location. It’s your everything. The breadth of information Google wants to collect and collate is the stuff of goosebumps.”
- Mat Honan, The Case Against Google
Google would like to be the next great thing, the bridge into the future, but instead they are failing to deliver breakthrough technology, despite all their edvantages and huge cash reserves. And realizing it, they have become so desperate, and cavalier about a world dominated by user experience that they will wind up chasing us away.
Google is the new Microsoft.
“Don’t Be Evil” tool cuts back on Google’s self-promotion: Remember Google’s new social search feature? It features results from your friends — and Google+ accounts — before other results, even if the other social sources are more popular than the Google+ account. The new “Don’t Be Evil” extension “looks at the three places where Google only shows Google+ results and then automatically googles Google to see if Google finds a result more relevant than Google+,” according to Focus On the User. Would you install this? source
“I think their decision to artificially promote Google Plus pages above more relevant pages on competing social networks is the modern-day equivalent of the ’90s era search engines turning their homepages into “portals”.A search engine should be designed to send users quickly and accurately away to whatever sites on the Internet they’re looking for. The ’90s-era search engine portals blew this, because the whole portal idea was to keep users on their sites rather than send them away. This Google Plus integration is the same thing — an attempt to keep users on Google.com for another page view or two.”
Exactly right. That’s what I meant when I wrote this a year ago. Google won search because they prioritized the best answer above anything else. They have crossed that line and it will hurt.(via bijan)
The verdict is rolling in. Commentator after commentator is ruling Google+ a failed experiment.
Google+ is dead. At worst, in the coming months, it will literally fade away to nothing or exist as Internet plankton. At best,…
Some key points to think about: Google was trying to build a social network, they weren’t trying to solve a problem, fix a need, or take people into a better future. They were simply trying to cash in on something they saw as popular. (Well, that and they decided to become the self-appointed Identity Police of the internet, “Show us your papers!”.)
Doing what your competitors are doing is not a business strategy. Doing what’s popular is not a business strategy. Having a good idea is not a business strategy.
Especially when you are trying to control people with your strategy. Google+ was never about what was good for us, it was always about what was good for Google. They were trying to create a captive audience. Right now we can use their services. Or not. They would like to remove that option. But so would Apple and Facebook. And Microsoft has always been clear about it’s intentions.
Your business strategy is to give people power, not reduce their amount of power. Do that and you’ll win.