Google+ Gets Advice From The World’s Most Recognizable Friend

Myspace’s ‘First Friend’ Offers Google+ Some Friendly Advice

This post was originally published on Lalawag.

You may recognize Tom Anderson as the first smiling face to friend you on Myspace.  The social networking pioneer, who helped found the company back in the early 2000′s, is now accepting friend requests on FacebookTwitter and the new darling of the social media world, Google+.

In fact, over 8,000 people currently have Tom in their circles. Those aren’t exactly Myspace-level numbers, but hey, Google+ is still young. And, today Anderson posted a whole list of good advice for the fledgling social site on TechCrunch, based on his very public ups and downs as the president of one of the web’s biggest success-story-turned-cautionary-tale.

Tom’s five main points:

1) Start seriously courting the journalists, tastemakers, and celebrities

2) Exhaustively think through the privacy issues

3) Move Google’s top analysts (probably focused on monetization right now) onto the Google+ project

4) Hire the best product executors & visionaries in the world

5) There must be one ring to rule them all.

A few juicy gems to takeaway:

“I don’t believe Privacy is a real issue to most people, but most people think it is a real issue to them. As thus, it plays a big role in the psychological justification for defecting from competitors. “Safety” hysteria destroyed MySpace in the press. It got MySpace banned from schools, Apple stores, and by well-meaning parents who had been terrorized by what they were reading. Privacy advocates have tried to destroy Facebook and Google in the past. You need the best PR person in the world on your team, Google, but even more so, you need to make sure the software doesn’t give the privacy hounds something to be rightfully angry about.”

“Mine the data about G+ usage like it’s Gold, because it truly is the future of Google’s long-term revenue and profit growth. (And I actually don’t think there’ll ever be advertising on Google+, theme for another article.)”

“Though I love G+, some parts of G+ are really a mess right now, and two that are incredibly important at this stage are in need of much work: onboarding & photos.”

“Making a website is similar to making a movie—hundreds of people work on it, one person makes the final decision, and they make them every minute of the day. I use the LOTR analogy because there may be 12 extremely important product people (point #4). But someone needs to make the decisions […] The Internet moves at lightning speed. If you mess up, a resolute leader can iterate and fix […] You learn a lot when you mess up. I messed up a lot, so these are just a few of the things I learned. By the way, these lessons aren’t just for Google.  They also can be applied to any startup, so good luck everyone. I’m hoping to see you all make your mark on this world.”


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