Evidence from Google IO: Recommendation Engines are not MVPs

My co-editor's earlier post today about recommendation engines is simply spot on and I wanted to add not only my strong agreement but also some more anecdotal support for her conclusions. Google IO 2013, which concluded last week, was filled with developer-oriented announcements. As a result, some of the more consumer-focused announcements and their ramifications were glossed over. Google just announced that they are now recommending books and apps and musics via Google Play.  In other words, Google just launched their own recommendation engine. Bringing this point up to a few Googlers I was told that there have been quite a few teams at Google that have attempted to build such a recommendation engine before and met with less than stellar success.  And, remember, this is Google. There have been 48 billion app installs. They are indexing the world's data. They have knowledge graph. They probably have your email. Yet, with more data than anyone else on the planet, ridiculous computing super-infrastructure, and immense pools of elite talent, Google Play is just now getting its own recommendation engine in 2013. Recommendation engines are NOT minimum viable products, full stop.