Google+ and Google's Antisocial Management Ranks

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-10-10

So I want to address the meme that Google's top executives are not heavy Google+ users after Michael DeGusta posted this piece lamenting the lack of updates by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and other big wigs at Google.

DeGusta, an entrepreneur and former Web production lead at Apple, noted:

Management caring deeply about their company's products and using them every day is almost always a prerequisite of making great products. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg really does use Facebook all day. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted at least 30 times just yesterday. At the other extreme, I started at Apple under Gil Amelio, who used to have his e-mails printed out for him. On that basis alone it was hardly surprising he was a disaster.

Mashable's Ben Parr thinks this is inexcusable and exhorts Google's management to eat its own dog food. I disagree.

Anyone following the space can readily find examples of companies where top execs are not eating the dog food or drinking the Kool Aid. Do you think Carol Bartz used CAD software while at AutoDesk?

So, upper-level management needn't necessarily use their products all of the time. DeGusta noted that Page had only made seven public posts since Google+ launched, which was seven more posts than Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has ever made. Schmidt does not appear to have a Google+ account.

Page would go on to update his Google+ account with a nice little eulogy for the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs the next day. But, no, he doesn't post much.

Of course, he and the other executives could be posting privately like crazy, or at least a little bit more, but I doubt it.

Here's the chart with the stats of antisocial Google management, in case you're interested:

Google+ Understatement.png

So I have two questions to throw out: Why might this be the case? And: who cares?

First, I'll go back to what I suggested last month. Google only built Google+ to keep Facebook from eating its ad lunch. The execs don't particularly care for social networks.

I see the logic when DeGusta says execs need to use their company's products. My feeling in this case is that as long as Google+ product management leaders Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz are using the product regularly for quality control, the network should be fine.

You don't seriously think search gurus Page and Brin and legacy enterprise software guru Schmidt are influencing the product do you? It's Gundotra, Horowitz, some senior social engineers and a bunch of new, young hires. And the product is coming along fine.

Second, from an end-user perspective, who gives a lick? The earnest end user for Google+ only cares that their friends, family or colleagues are on the network. Does Google+ hold less value for you because Larry Page only posts twice a month?

Will you not use Google+ because Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin aren't updating frequently? For every Google exec who isn't sharing via Google+ a lot, I'll show you a or an Ashton Kutcher who is. Seriously, this is ridiculous.

It's just a bit of fun FUD.

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