Google Chief Blasts Facebook’s Product Line, Downplays ‘Competition’

Facebook just doesn’t know what it’s doing when it comes to designing quality products.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. Those aren’t my words. That jab comes from the CEO of Google, Larry Page.

In what was definitely an uncommonly candid interview with Wired, Page opened up recently about Facebook and the problems he has observed with the social network of one billion.

Page admitted, in part, that Google+ was created and launched because of needed improvements in the social networking user experience.

“We had real issues with how our users shared information, how they expressed their identity, and so on,” Page tells Wired. “And, yeah, [Facebook is] a company that’s strong in that space. But they’re also doing a really bad job on their products. For us to succeed, is it necessary for some other company to fail? No. We’re actually doing something different. I think it’s outrageous to say that there’s only space for one company in these areas. When we started with search, everyone said, ‘You guys are gonna fail, there’s already five search companies.’ We said, ‘We are a search company, but we’re doing something different.’ That’s how I see all these areas.”

Although the interview with Page was conducted before Facebook unveiled its Graph Search feature earlier this week, the harsh words still represent a resounding criticism of Mark Zuckerberg’s company. Ironically, however, for as much as the conversation centered on “the competition,” Page admits that the competition isn’t something that is given much consideration inside the walls of his company.

“I worry that something has gone seriously wrong with the way we run companies,” Page says. “If you read the media coverage of our company, or of the technology industry in general, it’s always about the competition. The stories are written as if they are covering a sporting event. But it’s hard to find actual examples of really amazing things that happened solely due to competition. How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do is trounce some other company that does roughly the same thing? That’s why most companies decay slowly over time. They tend to do approximately what they did before, with a few minor changes. It’s natural for people to want to work on things that they know aren’t going to fail. But incremental improvement is guaranteed to be obsolete over time. Especially in technology, where you know there’s going to be non-incremental change.”

To read more, check out Wired’s full report here.