writes about the continuing stream of tech stories prematurely announcing the death of Google+.
Their warning are beginning to sound like the millennial cultists, who insisted the world would end in 1999, then 2012, etc.
In the meantime, how many tech trade journals and websites have died, or ended their print versions because they were unprofitable? Google does a number of projects for the long haul, even if they do not produce short-term profits. However, with their dual-class stock structure, Google is not beholden to short-term investors and can work on projects with longer-term benefits, or which don't pan out at all.
It's similar to Bell Labs' development of the transistor and laser. With a steady income income from AT&T's profits and no fear of Wall Street, Bell Labs could afford to do basic research without worrying about its applications. In 1960, the laser wasn't built to be used in CDs or supermarket barcode scanners, because nobody had those applications in mind. Today, who really knows what sort of Artificial Intelligence developments might be gleaned from the content users post on G+? For example, G+ might even lead to better systems for disaster response or epidemics, by learning what people's typical needs are based on their situations.
Ten years ago, or even five, people might have called self-driving cars a failure, if only for their absence on roadways and the fact that consumers couldn't buy them. Today, people and even automakers see them as all but inevitable.
People who say G+ isn't "as good a Facebook as Facebook" are missing the big picture. It would be like complaining that a self-driving Tesla denied its driver the opportunity to shift gears like a manuals transmission BMW. Then again, people were once so unimaginative that the first use for the telephone was to summon messengers to hand-deliver written notes!