They are the bastard child of seeing every successful competitor as a new front on a war for global domination, youth and sexiness, but instead, only result in mediocrity and sloth.
I would (and will) certainly try the service before reaching the hard conclusion that Dave does, but we've seen this film enough times, haven't we?
More to the point, as I noted when Google launched it's once-ballyhooed Buzz project ('Google Buzz: Is it Project, Product or Platform?'), Google's track record of shipping the idea, fixing it, and iterating to a winnable finish line is very un-Microsoft like.
You see, Microsoft's lethal-ness back in the day was knowing that 1.0 would lead to 1.1, 2.0 and finally something reasonably compelling by 3.0. Once they were in, they were ALL IN.
By contrast, Google tends to ship the idea, be fuzzy about their intent, and if it doesn't work, they kill it, and start over again.
It's harder to win in categories with serious, disciplined competitors if you keep launching 1.0 solutions (Buzz, Wave, Froogle, Latitude), and then killing them when they fail to achieve liftoff.
I think that that's the folly of their labs mentality, and why folks like me that actually have something better to do than beta test, ignore the latest Google frosting until it's clear that there's some cake beneath it.
So, Google, tell me when I should care.
- Google Buzz: Is it Project, Product or Platform?
- The Chess Masters: Apple versus Google
- Open "ish": The meaning of open, according to Google