Thursday, January 12, 2006

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The beta culture

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The beta culture: "But while I used to think the beta approach was a pretty nifty idea, now I'm having my doubts. While Google has certainly proved that it can produce wonderful products, like its bread-and-butter search engine and its addictive Google Earth, a lot of those beta products - and not just the new ones - are pretty lackluster. Froogle, for example, is unpleasant to use, and Blog Search is just plain dreary. The tossing of half-baked products onto the web is starting to look less like a brilliant idea than a sign of hubris. You get the sense that the great minds at Google believe that we lowly users should be grateful for any scrap they throw out to us. Google may be in the process of creating a dysfunctional 'beta culture' that puts the interests of its engineers ahead of the interests of its customers. Eventually, if it keeps pumping out mediocre beta products and letting them lie around more or less indefinitely, it will start to tarnish its brand, if not wear out its welcome. We all know success breeds hubris, and we know what hubris breeds, too."

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