A rant which was penned by a Google employee about his company’s social notworking site Google+ has gone viral, but it appears that the writer is not in hot water with his boss.
Steve Yegge wrote the rant apparently with the approval of his boss, and said he would take it down if he was asked. This begs the question why would Google allow this? The first option is that Google is a friendly balanced company that encourages free speech even if it goes against the company image. The second is that it was all a very clever gorilla marketing trick for Google+.
Yegge said he was ranting because he wanted Google to be successful. Facebook offered him a job and it would be pretty easy to just go. But Google is home and so he is having a rant.
According to Yegge’s rant, which can be seen here Google is superior to his former employer Amazon in most ways. However he said that Jeff Bezos, who he calls Dread Pirate Bezos is a much better micro-manager than anyone at Google.
As a result Amazon had transformed culturally into a company that thinks about everything in a services-first fashion. It is now fundamental to how they approach all designs, including internal designs for stuff that might never see the light of day externally. Dread Pirate Bezos worked out that Amazon needed to be a platform/
But Google does not do platforms very well. It does not understand platforms and if anyone does they are a minority.
“I was kind of hoping that competitive pressure from Microsoft and Amazon and more recently Facebook would make us wake up collectively and start doing universal services. Not in some sort of ad-hoc, half-assed way, but in more or less the same way Amazon did it: all at once, for real, no cheating, and treating it as our top priority from now on, ” he said,
Platforms are Google’s r tenth or eleventh priority. Or fifteenth, I don’t know. It’s pretty low. There are a few teams who treat the idea
He said that Google+ was a prime example of its complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership down to the very lowest leaf workers.
Yegge said that the prime rule of platforms was that you eat your own dogfood. It is something people should have learnt from Microsoft.
“You don’t eat People Food and give your developers Dog Food. Doing that is simply robbing your long-term platform value for short-term successes. Platforms are all about long-term thinking, “he said,
But Google+ was a knee-jerk reaction, based on the incorrect notion that Facebook was successful because they built a great product. But Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work.
When the Google+ team took a look at the aftermarket it said that it needed some games and got on the blower to a contractor to write some. Facebook proved that you can’t predict what people want.
Yegge said that Vole got it which was odd because they don’t “get” much of anything, really. But they understand platforms as a purely accidental outgrowth of having started life in the business of providing platforms.
“If you go to msdn.com, and spend some time browsing, and you’ve never seen it before, prepare to be amazed. Because it’s staggeringly huge. They have thousands, and thousands, and THOUSANDS of API calls. They have a HUGE platform. Too big in fact, because they can’t design for squat, but at least they’re doing it,” he said.
Amazon and Apple got it too as does Facebook, but Google really does have to pull up its socks.