Google has been working on a Facebook killer for many months now. Many have criticized Google's approach, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying the search giant simply does not understand social. Now, former Google employee, Gmail creator, and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit has come out and explained why it's so hard for the company to create a successful social network like Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare.
"I'm actually rather optimistic about Google overall," Buchheit told Gawker. "The inevitable doom of ChromeOS is due in part to the huge success of Android. As for social, I expect that Google will find greater success with their self-driving car and moon landing initiatives. I think it's worth noting that the two most successful Facebook competitors, Twitter and Foursquare, were both started by people who were relatively unsuccessful at Google. The only good strategy I can see for Google is to create something fundamentally different from Facebook (like Twitter or Foursquare were), but Google probably doesn't have the right people doing that because of this problem."
When he says "this problem," Buchheit is referring to story of Dennis Crowley, who sold his check-in service Dodgeball to Google in 2005. He left the company two years later due to a lack of engineering resources. He then launched Foursquare, a virtually identical service, which has done very well in a market that Google now considers quite valuable.