Everyone knew Google+ was dead on arrival.

Heck, 90 percent of users stuck around the doomed social network for a paltry five seconds, per Search Engine Journal's report. Still, it took eight years and two data breaches before Google began a sayonara countdown, set to end next Tuesday, April 2; and the search giant spent several hundred millions of dollars in the process.

Could it be that the would-be Facebook competitor was someone’s ... darling?

And what does that mean? "Darlings" is my term for the bugaboos of passionate, motivated entrepreneurs who suffer from streaks of stubbornness, veiled as perseverance. I should know: I myself have fallen for darlings multiple times. Fortunately, my darlings did not turn my company into a Xerox-, Blockbuster- or Polaroid-size failure. Yet they did chew up resources and time that could have been better spent elsewhere.

...