Premature Innovation: Google+ Wasn’t Ready For Release

July 7, 2011

Last week, we raved about Google+, the social network that could entice some Facebook users to make the exodus to a sleeker, more user-friendly environment. I’m starting to think we may have been a little overzealous with our praise, but I still see plenty of potential for Google+.

Google has taken heat for making Club Google+ highly exclusive to this point. It seems the world’s leading search engine company can only handle a limited number of new accounts each day, so many of us have been made to feel like the clowns who showed up first to the party. For the past week, we’ve been circling the punch bowl, waiting for more people to show up. Unfortunately, it’s hindered the experience.

As others slowly arrive, Mike Keliher took the chance to create a Fast Horse Google+ account, which is similar to our Facebook page, The Fast Horse Experience. We’re not the first company to have a Google+ account, but, apparently, Google would rather we didn’t have one just yet. Christian Oestlien, a product manager at Google, published a post and video asking businesses to avoid creating consumer profiles and wait for business profiles to be made available. Oestlien wrote:

The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses. We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.

Google is killing its own buzz. Each day, it appears more evident Google+ was released too early, before it could handle the rush of curious newcomers and eager businesses. Supply and demand might work for PlayStation and XBOX, but something like a social network — especially Google’s — shouldn’t hit the marketplace until it has infinite capacity and meets the needs of individuals and businesses alike. Google had Facebook’s playbook at its disposal, six years of social media lessons, and yet, the unveiling of Google+ has been a comedy of errors.

So, let’s just put it out there: Google+ is failing, at least so far. We were given something half baked. That’s not to say Google+ will be a failure, though. I do believe, when it’s finally ready, Google+ will steal a considerable percentage of Facebook’s 750 million users. In fact, it may have been well on its way to doing so if invitations and new accounts weren’t halted on launch day.

Innovation is fine and good, but let’s hope the masterminds from Mountain View recall the Google+ catastrophe before releasing their next big product. Please, keep it in the oven until its done.