Jason Calacanis says the biggest mistake Google made with Google Plus was not getting the domain


This week Jason Calacanis, a super angel who was an early investor in companies like Uber shared his thought on Google move to shut down GooglePlus. In his tweet, Jason said that he thinks the biggest mistake that Google made with GooglePlus was not giving the service it’s own domain name.

He suggested a couple of names like Plus.com and Path.com, and let’s be honest, there are a zillion other names that Google can afford to buy that would have cemented Google Plus as it’s own unique service.

Instead, Google Plus was always a confusing offering hidden away behind your photo in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. I can still remember when it launched and nobody could find it, it was confusing and when it comes to a social media offering, if people can’t easily access it, then it’s not going to take off no matter how big the brand behind it is.

Jason’s point here is spot on. If Google announced a new service and put it on Plus.com, that could have really become a destination.

What this really highlights is the power of a domain name when it comes to branding. Your domain name is your brand online, and this just goes to show that even a company as big as Google, can’t build a brand online without a domain behind it.

Now for an interesting question. Since Google can afford any domain they want to buy, what domain should they have bought? Here’s my top three:

  1. Plus.com
  2. Connect.com
  3. Path.com

What domain do you think Google should have bought? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Tauseef October 13, 2018, 12:24 am

    connect.com would’ve been a killer choice.
    Further, they are utilizing sub domain names for their other services like GooglePay, GoogleDrive and many. (Before I was able to access googledrive.com but now I need to type drive.google.com

    • MapleDots October 13, 2018, 6:07 am

      I agree with you…. fantastic

  • Zev October 13, 2018, 1:55 am

    Anyone who thinks that a domain name would have saved google+ should sell all their domains at namejet without reserve and get into an industry that requires no business skills or knowledge.

    I won’t be putting a bid on those btw..

    • Morgan October 14, 2018, 3:20 pm

      I don’t think @jason is saying that the domain would have “saved” Google Plus, he just thinks it was a big mistake.

  • Matt Holmes October 13, 2018, 4:45 am

    @Zev, it was an article about the biggest mistake, not the only mistake.

  • Andrew Rosener October 13, 2018, 5:14 am

    I think Jason is spot on although the product was flawed to begin with. But it was so difficult to navigate to Google Plus and within that I was turned off after the first few uses.

    But Google is the “Anti Domain”. They hate domains. They want to kill domains. They want to be their OWN internet and control all navigation in their own ecosystem. It will be their downfall eventually and I’m seeing signs of them losing their grip already (here come all the haters to shit on this comment…).

    Google’s AI program is called Duplex, but they passed on Duplex.com even at an extremely reasonable, if not cheap, price! They passed on Meet.com for their Google Meet product which replaced their “Hangouts”. They dont’t buy domains for the most part. They just don’t.

    Google sucks the big one.

    • Sigma October 13, 2018, 7:11 am

      Andrew’s point about being anti-domains seems to be proven by what happened with the Chrome70.com failure before Chrome 70 launch date.

      • John October 13, 2018, 12:33 pm

        @Sigma They’ve been proving it themselves 24 hours a day in all that they do for years, and one would have to be living in a cave not to see.

    • staff October 13, 2018, 8:17 am

      Numerous patents (starting from 1999, including Google) are related to the telephone number DN System & VoIP DN SIP H323 communication protocols. That’s the reason nowadays you are forced to use one or the other or both; SMS or Service Provider App authentications methods (gatekeeper). G doesn’t work against the DNS, contrary, helping DNS to fast-forward. What G want is to get rid of the URL which shows in the address bar or alter parameters (noisy URLs) … for example: morganlinton .com/ jason-calacanis-says-the-biggest-mistake-google-made-with-google-plus-was-not-getting-the-domain/

    • John October 13, 2018, 9:31 am

      > “here come all the haters to shit on this comment”

      Okay, you asked for it, so here goes:

      So long have I waited to see another industry “luminary” willing to address the dark and so completely important and relevant reality of the “big picture” like that in a substantial way, and the main 8,000 ton gorilla that can’t even fit into the room, when others either don’t or won’t. I knew I kind of liked how you think when I saw you in that panel discussion video not so long ago over at TheD. Till recently the only other “luminary” I have seen do this before is Michael Castello, but I also charged him with being “part of the problem” lately for his recent “appraisal” comment over at Rick’s place. And recently I saw (apparently) his brother David briefly touch upon the important big picture there too. Ironically, I’m sorry to say, even the king himself did not want to address this matter when I first saw M. Castello do it there, but he certainly acknowledged it lately with “Facebook, Twitter and Google Show their UGLY Business Practices and BUSINESS Responds!” on October 7th and I’m glad he did.

      I’ve said this before: it is important to consider and realize, that while money, profit and market share are big enough motives by themselves, it’s about far more than that. All of this is being done completely “in bed” with government, and it is about nothing less than power and control over all of people, information and society, far beyond only money and profit. It is definitely not just Google and their peers acting on their own to have and be their own Internet. What’s at stake is truly vast and vastly important indeed in matters of this world and life.

      > “It will be their downfall eventually and I’m seeing signs of them losing their grip already”

      I hope you are right, and I wish I could share that view. Sad to say I cannot yet do that now. Also, I know that any great improvement can only be episodic or epochal if at all, no matter how long, because totalitarianism does win out in the end, and this world is definitely not going to last forever or indefinitely. People can also forget about futuristic fantasies of human moral evolution or colonizing and moving to planets other than this world as well, such as are depicted and all but “prophesied” in fictional TV shows like Star Trek and the like. Evolving technology will never bring about evolving morality, and we already see and have seen for centuries how this is so. In fact, the opposite it true. As technology evolves, it becomes a tool for greater and continued evil, which we already witness all the time. In the meantime, however, trying to be salt and light in the face of corruption and darkness in a dying world it still a good thing.

      • John October 13, 2018, 9:35 am

        P.S. Totalitarianism does win out in “the end,” but only for a season and not the very end. 😉

        • Sigma October 13, 2018, 1:19 pm

          “As technology evolves, it becomes a tool for greater and continued evil, which we already witness all the time.”

          George Orwell & Aldous Huxley would tend to agree, as absolute power corrupts absolutely…

  • Sigma October 13, 2018, 6:59 am

    Connect.com would have been a killer premium brand for a social media offering. I don’t like Path.com or Plus.com for a social media site.

    Beauty is they are still the richest company, and can re-launch a social media brand next year taking Jason C’s advice…

  • Michael D. October 13, 2018, 9:55 am

    “> “It will be their downfall eventually and I’m seeing signs of them losing their grip already””

    Google is the anti URL but it’s the URL that got them to where they are — Google Search.

    They keep trying to kill the URL which is truly nothing more than a self inflicting process.

    Facebook didn’t need Google.
    Apple’s Appstore doesn’t need Google
    WeChat doesn’t, whatsapp doesn’t, Instagram doesn’t, Snapchat doesn’t, Twitter doesn’t. Salesforce doesn’t, …….

    But for Google to thrive they need to embrace URLs. Maybe it will take them some time to get it, another few years or even a decade or two, just like it took decades for MS to realize they don’t need to fight Linux and in fact need to embrace linux. For now they can deny URLs and its their loss only. They’ll come around eventually.

  • Rob October 13, 2018, 6:36 pm

    Google is Anti URLs, even though, since their inception, they’ve relied on a URL themselves (google.com).

    They seem to be worried about losing their firm grip how, individuals and Businesses Navigate, Search and Advertise Online.

    It actually goes against Google’s, Facebook’s and Amazon’s Business Models, if Internet users go back to Navigating and Searching the World-Wide-Web by directly typing-in “Exact-Match” and “Company Name” URLs and if they start Advertising directly on individual Websites.

    Likewise, it’s in the Best Interest of Individuals and Business to not be dependent on Third-Party’s like Search Engines, Social Media Companies and Marketplaces, because of their constant Algorithm/Policy Changes, Security Breaches and Fees.

  • Viper October 14, 2018, 6:03 am

    +1 for Connect.com
    Thats a killer domain name

  • Alex October 14, 2018, 11:39 am

    Love the Connect.com – lots of uses, not only social.
    Connecting people to every need and market out there.

  • Morgan October 14, 2018, 3:27 pm

    Nice to hear everyone likes Connect.com, if only Google had asked us to come up with a name for their social media service years ago! 🙂

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