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You don't release a product until it can prove itself against the competition. You don't just "build up" to it with hype and empty promises to the millions of people that register and linger on your service for weeks and months while the tumbleweeds roll by.

Facebook didn't have an API at launch because the people using that site didn't have a need for it. It was a much different site with a completely different atmosphere.

G+ could have had a tremendous impact on Facebook if it'd continued to build itself internally and then busted out of the doors when Facebook inevitably makes an update that really pisses people off and causes another exodus (i.e. every update). Instead you've got this half-baked thing flailing around making itself look stupid.

This isn't even something that had to be rushed. Facebook has been around for 5+ years, MySpace, Friendster, LiveJournal, even longer than that. If they wanted to get into the social game, they needed better ownership of the product and the idea. You need people that have built, consulted and helped spearhead those types of initiatives before. If they did employ these tactics, I am at a loss for words. G+ from any other company other than Google would have flopped on arrival. It would have been entirely pointless.

Once you set people up like that, it's hard to get them back. You can do it, but a company like Google already has trust issues and with the idea of self-maintained user nodes (like Diaspora) is becoming more and more the idea of the future of social networking.

And a word of advice: you should really look into the nightmares Google Mail can cause for businesses. We had endless outages, lost mail, mail that didn't send or receive for anywhere from an hour to 5 days with absolutely no support whatsoever.

There are better platforms than G+ for social intranets / collaboration / customer engagement, even LinkedIn is buying companies out to implement their products into the site. I would look into some of those services as they're more fleshed out instead of hoping that Google pulls its head out of its ass with this one.

3 years, 6 months ago on Google Engineer: “Google+ is a Prime Example of Our Complete Failure to Understand Platforms”