Andy Hertzfeld Clarifies His Role In Google+

Andy Hertzfeld Clarifies His Role In Google+


In a new post published to the service he helped create, Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original designers of the Macintosh, has tonight clarified the role in which he played in creating Google’s new social network, Google+.

As for his role in the service, he writes:

I am indeed the main individual behind the interaction design and implementation of the circle editor. I conceived, designed and implemented a compelling prototype for it almost single-handedly, and then wrote a fair percentage of the production javascript code with lots of help from my friends. I also worked on a couple of other parts of the product a little bit, but that’s pretty much as far as it goes.

More clarification came in the form of Hertzfeld noting that he is in fact – not – responsible for the entire design of the service, as previously reported. Noting this couldn’t be “further from the truth,” but understands that it was “just too good a story for people to resist,” he writes:

But subsequent stories jumped to the conclusion that I was responsible for the design of the entire product that we launched on Tuesday, which isn’t true, but I guess it was just too good a story (about Apple design values infecting Google) for people to resist. And now some people are saying that I’m responsible for the broad visual refresh now rolling out across Google, which couldn’t be further from the truth – in fact, I’m not even sure I like it.

Highlighting that the media sometimes “oversimplifies” things, Hertzfeld was keen to stress that a bunch of other people’s efforts also went into the design, function and creation of Google+ — In fact, he named most of them by first name.

Google probably won’t be thrilled about me mentioning the names of the superb developers who helped me with the circle editor code (hello recruiters) but I feel that I must mention my main collaborators here: +Owen Prater +Eric Cattell +Eric W. Barndollar and +Griff Hazen, along with Ariel Gertzenstein and Rich Conlan who helped in the early stages. And those are just the main front-end guys, there are plenty of others who worked on the shared infrastructure or the back-end that I won’t mention.

One thing that I learned during the launch of the original Macintosh in 1984 was that the press usually oversimplifies everything, and it can’t deal with the reality that there are many people playing critical roles on significant projects. A few people always get too much credit, while most people get too little, that’s just the way it has always worked. But luckily, it’s 2011 and I can use the service that I helped to create to clarify things.

If you have the time, it’s a great read.

[via DaringFireball]