Does anyone check Google + anymore? Well if you do you might have come across a very interesting read today. It seems that one of their developers could no longer contain himself and posted a very telling rant about Google and the way it approaches its products. It seems that Google, despite being a rather large company with many years of experience in cataloging what people do on the internet still has not realized why other companies are more successful than they are.
I am not talking about search; although I am not a fan of Google’s search and retention practices I will admit they are one of the best search and ad companies out there. I am talking about their other products. Products like Google Docs, Google Chrome, and Google+. The problem is, according to the rant, that Google made each of these as a knee jerk reaction. They were not planned to integrate into a larger platform, they were not designed with user accessibility in mind. They were just built and shoved out the door.
You simply cannot do that in today’s market. You have to plan everything as an integrated approach. If you want a couple of examples then take a look at Microsoft’s Office or the way Apple integrates their OS. To put it bluntly neither Google Docs nor Google + has this. Here is a great quote from the rant to tell you what I mean.
“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.”
This is a great case in point, there is nothing that can work with or talk to Google+. Even the Google+ link on most sites will work about half the time, or requires constant updating to remain functional. This is because there is no service based platform to run these APIs on, the product just IS.
I have a feeling that this has also extended over into Google’s mobile space and would go a long way to explaining why there are so many issues with Android that seem to remain despite updates. The lack of understanding accessibility and a platform based approach has led Android’s slow acceptance in the tablet market space. The product simply feels like a bigger version of the phone OS and still has many basic apps that are not as sophisticated as the ones that come on the phones (mail is one that comes to mind).
Google as a company is in no danger of going away or going under, however they could find that many of their products will get swept away by other companies that understand accessibility and the need for a common platform better than Google does.
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