Interesting indeed. The biggest problem I have with Google is that they're a copycat company. Google's business model is based around being the loss-leader. They want to maintain market dominance not by selling products but by flooding the market with "free" products that keeps competitors from selling products. Google can be the loss-leader because they're not dependent on sales, they're dependent on ad revenue. If Apple doesn't sell iPhones then Apple loses billions. If Google doesn't "sell" Android then meh, no lose of profit. Don't get me wrong, El Goog does have some quality products but most of what they offer is available on other platforms, or worse, it's a pale imitation of a superior product. So seeing an employee say that Google+ is a "pathetic afterthought" matches perfectly with Google's business model. Google+ isn't about building an online community, it's about stealing marketshare from Facebook.
I think another of Google's problems is their uninspiring style guide. For some reason they insist on applying the look and feel of their main search site, which works for their main search site, to all of their new properties. It's just so bland.