Kevin Rose is Google’s newest employee. If you don’t know Kevin Rose, he’s the mastermind behind the rise (and fall) of the social news site, Digg. But for the last year, he’s been wrapped up in Milk, a mobile app incubator that has hatched a grand total of one app: the now-defunct social review app Oink. This raises the question: what is Rose going to do for Google?
Considering that the VP of product at Google+ went on the record to confirm Rose’s hiring, it’s safe to assume that Rose will be trying to improve Google’s stagnant, not quite dead (yet), social network. But Rose isn’t exactly a technological Lazarus. As CEO, he was unable to return Digg to prominence after the whole DiggBar saga. Like Digg in 2009, Google+ currently finds itself between a rock and irrelevance.
Rose is more of an experimenter. His best projects have been ventures into areas of social networking which haven’t yet been explored. No one has yet introduced a new service similar to Rose’s 2008 project Pownce, which combined Megaupload-esque file-sharing with Facebook-ish friend circles. (Twitter is probably the most comparable thing around today.) And in 2005, when Rose co-founded the web-based TV network Revision3, web video was an undeveloped, unexplored territory where any idea was a new one.
But now he is going to work for Google, a company that prides itself on research-based product development, and less on trusting one’s intuitions. It’s hard to imagine Google letting Rose run wild with an idea, only to give up on it a year later. And it’s hard to imagine Rose would flourish while having to push his ideas through the Google hierarchy.
So pardon the pessimism, but don’t be shocked if Rose is packing his bags and embarking on his next independent endeavour within a year. [PC Mag]
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