Must-see chart: How Google lost its groove

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In a lengthy “Why I quit” letter, former Google software developer James Whitaker blames Facebook envy for the company’s decline:

Advertisers and publishers cherish [detailed] personal information, so much so that they are willing to put the Facebook brand before their own. Exhibit A:, a company with the power and clout of Nike putting their own brand after Facebook’s? No company has ever done that for Google and Google took it personally.

Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong. Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+. It was an ominous name invoking the feeling that Google alone wasn’t enough. Search had to be social. Android had to be social. You Tube, once joyous in their independence, had to be … well, you get the point. Even worse was that innovation had to be social. Ideas that failed to put Google+ at the center of the universe were a distraction.

Joshua Gans generalizes the lesson:

[T]he start-up turned into a corporation. It faced a threat that required a coordinated response and that response necessarily had to crimp the innovation system that had built it. The problem is that coordinated response had its own flaws. As I have argued previously, Google+ didn’t offer consumers much more, if anything, than Facebook did.

Via The Daily Dish.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.