14 March 2012

JW on Tech: “Why I left Google”

As it turned out, sharing was not broken. Sharing was working fine and dandy, Google just wasn’t part of it. People were sharing all around us and seemed quite happy. A user exodus from Facebook never materialized. I couldn’t even get my own teenage daughter to look at Google+ twice, social isn’t a product, she told me after I gave her a demo, social is people and the people are on Facebook. Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation. The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.James Whittaker

This story has been circulating a lot on the Internet lately and with good cause. Coming from a former Google who returned to his previous employer (Microsoft), it serves as insider confirmation for the criticism against the direction Google took lately, breaking user expectations, breaking good products, trying to force a new sharing model that simply doesn’t work.

You probably know the saying: If four or five guys tell you that you’re drunk, even though you know you haven’t had a thing to drink, the least you can do is to lie down a little while. Google got drunk on the idea it can do anything and doesn’t want to let it go, no matter how many people tell it otherwise.

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