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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Law of Sexual Chemistry & Google+ - My Review

The tribal knowledge surrounding the casual dating scene is filled with wisdom.  For example:

1) Gain Their Attention - successfully approaching a potential interest and carrying on an interesting, balanced and engaging conversation with her and her friends.

2) Stay Out of the Friend Box - use appropriate touching to make your intentions known to the person of interest w/o freaking them out.

3) Separate the Sheep from the Herd - if interest is reciprocal, a soft suggestion is all that's necessary to get the person one-on-one...keeping rhythm -> would you like to dance, I'm stepping outside for X -> I'll go with you.

Failure to execute on any of the previous steps can be a powerful de-selector, though not impossible to recover from.  However, before any of the aforementioned can come into play, one must address the Law of Sexual Chemistry.  

The Law of Sexual Chemistry states that, "A person of the opposite sex knows instantly whether or not they want to have sex with you."  This law speaks specifically the high correlation between initial attraction and willingness to close the deal and not to whether or not you can overcome a lack of initial animal magnetism (IE: The Art of the Slow Play, The Last Call Exemption, Getting Out of the Friend Box - The Underdog Story).  

What does this have to do with Google+.  Google's nascent attempts in social were akin to the smartest kid in high school going to college.  For those of you still with me...

I won't talk about Orkut b/c I've never used it (I'm US based).

Buzz - This product had a double dose of confidence.  Unfortunately, it felt like Google's answer to twitter...which no one was asking for.  The nerdy kid got the courage to approach the group of girls, led with, "What did you get on your SATs" in hopes they would in turn ask him back and be impress with his 1600.  However, he got 3 faces staring at him and smiling awkwardly and then started to wet himself.  However, after studying the case, Google learned the power of integrating social w/ gmail and what that did to initial user adoption.

Wave - A heavily anticipated next attempt at social, more geared towards social collaboration in a professional environment (my opinion). This was an interesting twist and probably related to a sophisticated understanding of what % of gmail users used gmail for work, as well as an attempt to better position Google's b2b offerings.  The buildup leading to Wave, as well as the types of problems Wave attempted to solve, showed a refinement and understanding of the right type of confidence.  However, upon first logging into Wave, I had no earthly idea what the fuck they wanted me to do with it, I didn't know where to start and whatever problem Wave attempted to solve for me wasn't bad enough for me to invest anymore time into trying to figure out.  After mastering the approach and interesting, casual conversation, the young man started racking up female friends like it's nobody's business, but that's not gonna get your laid. 

Google+ - This offering is different and Google is making sure everyone knows it.  First, it speaks succinctly to the growing feeling that one network is better than nothing, but filtering / grouping is more trouble than it's worth (currently).  The current solution is that we have a professional network, a social network, a short-form / asymmetric content discovery network, etc.  To make matters worse, companies are popping up all the time that want to give us even more networks...politics, health, hobbies, family, close friends, etc.  The average user balances the number of networks they are willing to maintain, with the amount of spam they are willing to sift through.  For most of us, there has been a noticeable degrading return to our existing social experience.  Google+ is trying to be a better way to manage the people in our lives, as well as facilitate more meaningful interaction with those we choose to, when we want to.  The message is clear.  It has become obvious to all parties involved who fancies whom and exactly what his intentions are.

What remains to be seen is whether or not Google+ gets it right.  As someone who is eagerly waiting my invite, watched all the demos and read all the reviews, I have the problem they are trying to solve.  And from what I've heard, I'm not the only one.  After mastering the first two steps, separating the sheep from the heard is the current focus and it doesn't look like it'll be much of  a problem...she's biting her lip and playing with her hair.

However, I couldn't help but notice in the time leading up to the announcement, Google has made some changes.  There has been a noticeable commitment to design.  First, whispers of Google hiring designers,  even better Google Doodles, and visually compelling / meaningful commercials / videos.    Then, changes to plugin placements in my gmail, which let me know that my gmail can be the center of my online experience.  Finally, the screen shots of Google+ & demo videos with simplicity, color, panache and an impressive UX...that is both visually appeals to and leads the user through the experience (and name-dropping the guy who is responsible for it).  No one is really sure exactly when it happened, but the socially awkward, nerdy, skinny guy put on some muscle, got a new wardrobe and his confidence projects in a way that people respond to.

If you've made it this far...this analogy has gotten a bit uncomfortable.  All that's left to figure out is if he's gonna close the deal...Methinks he might.

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