Unnamed sources from around Silicon Valley and Wall Street have announced that Google might buy Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Several other unnamed sources suggested that Donald Trump, Richard Branson and Doctor Evil from the Austin Powers movies are engaged in a bidding war to purchase this blog.
Sadly no one is offering me billions, millions or anything close to purchase this blog. To be clear this is not an audition for The Onion or any other publication that specializes in satire.
Is Google+ Walking Dead?
It is a Sunday morning commentary about the future of Google+ and the multiple articles and posts lamenting/celebrating its death.
TechCrunch claims it is Walking Dead. That was based upon Google’s Vic Gundotra announcing he was leaving the company, information provided by unnamed sources and some very rough analysis
A few days later I read another post/analysis that Tech Crunch published from a former intern at Google+ which listed mistakes and missteps and reasons why it was doomed as well.
Confession, I rolled my eyes at much of the intern’s analysis because interns may be very smart but they are often very inexperienced. Some of that is my bias coming out.
The Impact Of Our Personal Bias
People like to believe we make the major decisions based upon logic and reason but that doesn’t always happen as frequently as we would like it to. That is because we view the world through our experiences.
I once had a conversation with a very inexperienced twenty something who told me any business that didn’t advertise on Facebook is doomed because everyone uses Facebook.
When I told her many of my friends and relatives hate Facebook and see it as a waste of time she rolled her eyes at me and said I just didn’t get it.
Well I would argue she doesn’t get it just as the people who have told me that Google+ is a ghost town don’t get it. I use it daily. It has been one of the best sources of traffic for my blog and I really like it.
Does that mean the news reports about it being a ghost town are wrong and that all of its detractors are correct?
Maybe yes and maybe no.
The value of a tool often lies in the expertise of the user and a willingness to use it. Give me the best golf clubs and Tiger Woods the worst and unless I hit Tiger with my putter I’ll probably lose the match.
Google+ is a tool as is Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Sometimes when people tell me they don’t use Google+ because they know it doesn’t add value to their lives I’ll ask them how they know.
If they tell me they have used it and don’t see a point I might nod my head and move on. But I can’t tell you how many times people respond with, “I tried it once or I know that none of my friends are using it so I don’t.”
That is not the sort of logic and reason I referred to above. It is not based upon “scientific proof.” Now I am not suggesting every decision we make should be based upon “scientific proof” either but some things might be easier if we acknowledged that the decisions we make are sometimes based upon what the “Magic 8 Ball” tells us to do.
If you aren’t buying any of this let me throw a few things out at you.
Think about your religious and political affiliations. Do they match your parents? Have you ever thought about why you believe as you do? Some of you can nod your heads and say yes. Some of you can say you believe XYZ because you have thought about it but many of you can’t.
Many of you are Christians/Jews/Democrats/Republicans because that is how you were raised.
Circle back to personal experience for a moment and think about restaurants. Have you ever eaten somewhere because a friend or family member raved about how good it is?
Ever walk away wondering if they need to get their taste buds checked or shaking your head because they said the service was great and you thought it was mediocre.
That sort of thing happens to people all the time. It might serve as a good reason to make personal choices but I would be hesitant to make significant business decisions that way.
What Is Going To Happen To Google+?
I am not going to declare it dead or even walking dead just because unnamed sources said there are issues or because Vic Gundotra left.
Remember unnamed sources told me that Google might buy Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest too. Maybe that is an exaggeration or wishful thinking, but it could happen too.
Lots of unlikely things happen and not just in movies.
If you want some more background and or insight you can take a look at this.
Google has the resources and ability to keep it going and to try to continue to grow it they are so inclined. I don’t have much confidence in anonymous sources and interns with limited experience but maybe that is just my personal bias speaking.