A Google engineer mis-posted on Google+ (how ’bout those Circles, eh?) a critique meant for internal Google audiences that is getting a lot of attention. He blasted Google for not understanding the difference between products and platforms, naming Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook as companies that “get it” in platforms. It’s a silly rant. His main argument is that Google doesn’t “eat its own dogfood” by building products off its own APIs and services. He adds that Google+ lacks a rich set of APIs and Google’s developer support is weak. Those latter points are valid, as we’ve pointed out, and Google+ needs more integration, but as Liz Gannes notes, products often precede platforms. And Google has yet to establish the value of Google+ as a product for users. But Google helped drive the mash-up movement with APIs and plugins for search, Maps and YouTube, and it practically invented the concept of a ready-made revenue stream for its ecosystem developers with AdWords. Google knows how to build a platform.
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