From Mountain View, CA to Plymouth, MI
The following is excerpted from the original post:
“I’m traveling to the Midwest this weekend… first to stop by Lollapalooza, where there will be a Google+ stage! Then I’ll be traveling back to Michigan to visit with family.
While in Michigan, I’ll be doing a Plus-up (a Google+ meetup?) to talk about Google+ to anyone in the area and curious to learn more and/or offer feedback
Time: Sunday, August 7 · 2:00pm
Location: Grand Traverse Pie Company
41640 Ann Arbor Rd.
– Brad Horowitz, VP of Product, Google+
That he would be engaging Google+ users in an open forum in an establishment 1.4 miles (according to Google Maps…ha ha) from my office?
To say that I was surprised would be an understatement.
In any event, I seized the opportunity and showed up at the appointed time. I got lucky and ended up sitting directly across the table from Brad.
I asked him if I could shoot video, and he graciously agreed. I sat up my tripod and my camera, and let it roll.
For the next 75 minutes, Brad answered a plethora of questions from some of the more socially savvy in Metro Detroit.
I whittled that 75 minutes down to a little over 14, focusing on what I felt were the “tough questions” and the things a typical Google+ early adopter would want to hear.
The Tough Questions
Here is that list of questions, paraphrased:
• What did you learn from your failed experience with Wave?
• Who is Google+’s competition?
• What are you doing to improve user experience?
• When will business profiles be available?
• What are you doing to address the disparity between mobile and desktop?
• What’s going on in terms of search?
• What’s the one thing you would want Google+ user to hear from Google+?
To facilitate your consumption of the video, please note that I annotated the face of the video with the question that Brad is responding to at that particular point on the footage. I did this so that you can scroll around inside the video and quickly find the responses to the questions of most interest to you. Here is that video:
The biggest takeaways for me personally:
• Google+ was not expecting to grow this fast…
• There are a lot of features, bells and whistles still to come…
• Google+ teams are working feverishly to add the highest priority features currently lacking…
• The quality of “the platform” will enable developers to truly add value once that door is opened…
• There is no definitive timetable for the release of business profiles…
• Google+ is committed to “getting this right,” and that is more important that rushing features into the platform to satisfy demand…
• Brad is one seriously smart individual. Just Google him and check out his track record. It’s impressive, to say the least…
Explosive Growth…and Yet Still a Work in Process? Discuss!
The single biggest thought I had after listening to the totality of Brad’s commentary multiple times was this: Google+’s growth has been explosive…and the product is far from “done.” What will Google+ be – and how much more might people embrace it – when it IS done?
(And I say that NOT because of anything Brad said – he was consistently humble, understated and frequently apologetic for the “unfinished” nature of Google+ – but from my own observations and thinking.)
As a user of Google+, and as one who is already on record as recommending Google+ for my industry (and for everyone, really), I just want to give Brad a big THANK YOU.
I thought it was telling that a man in his position would take time out of his life (on a Sunday afternoon, no less) to meet with a group of ordinary people to get their input on his technology.
The Final Word
And the way he ended his response to the last meaningful question of the session – “What’s the one thing you would want users of Google+ to hear from Google+? – was also telling and indicative of his commitment to getting Google+ right:
We’re getting lots of love from the community…it’s just that, you know, we want to make it better.”
– Brad Horowitz, VP of Product, Google+
That’s really cool…
…and so is Google+…