The search giant has had little luck breaking into the social network game, and most of it has been bad. Buzz got as many yawns as boos, and Wave was inexplicable — so much so that the company killed it last summer.
Orkut is maybe the most successful social network you’ve never heard of — unless you live in India or Brazil.
Indeed, only this month former Google CEO Eric Schmdt described his failure to fully appreciate Facebook’s thunder as his biggest regret. “I clearly knew I had to do something and I failed to do it,” Schmidt told AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher. “CEOs need to take responsibility. I screwed up.”
Social is where it’s at, even for the most successful internet company ever. Ask any successful entrepreneur: if you aren’t already thinking about re-inventing yourself on day one, you’re headed for the dead pool. If you do, maybe — just maybe — you’re IBM.
Google isn’t calling Google + a Facebook killer, as my Wired colleague Steven Levy reveals in his reporting, based on extraordinary insider access for more than a year as the product was developed. Today’s unveiling of a limited public beta is the culmination of work by hundreds of Google engineers and the focus of a very-determined CEO Larry Page.