Things I wish could be real in every company

I’m not sure how it happened but Google+ seems to be working for me in the way that I want a social network to work; in the way that I wanted twitter to work (but it doesn’t) and in a way that FaceBook has just never worked for me. In the main, it’s pushing higher quality content to me.

One of the things which caught my attention this morning was this from Sergey Brin. It’s not for the amazingness of a hangout between Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama although that in itself is a measure of how much the world of communications is changing.

The line which really got me was this:

Incredible. It was just a handful of months ago that +Vic Gundotra and I were at the office late one day talking about how to make communication on what was to become Google+ really dynamic. The discussion turned to the video conferencing technology that another team was building with a completely different product in mind.

“I bet you can just throw that into profiles with a couple of lines of javascript,” I said mostly sarcastically to goad him on. Sure enough about 15 minutes later we were participating in our first hangout thanks to some amazing engineering footwork and maybe a bit more than a couple of lines.

This is basically how video conferencing got into Google+. An off the cuff remark. It was in response to the dilemma of making Google+ more dynamic. I’m not sure what they were talking about there, but what interested me about this was the utter flexibility of the development model in Google that enabled them to do this; to take a piece of functionality that they were developing for one product and implementing it in another product without a convoluted mess of process to get permission to do this. In one way it is an example of that ultimate evil; project scope creep; in another, but more important way, it’s an example of recognising how to make a great product better without being hung up on bureaucratic process.

That takes vision.