Nothing like some good old fashioned competition to bring out some good old fashioned condescension amongst adversaries. Wait ’til you read how Mark Zuckerberg described Google+.

Before I get to that Zuckerberg said of Google and Google+, allow me to explain the “shine box” verbiage in my title.

As anyone who knows me knows I am a huge movie fan and I am one prone to quote movies literally. I’ll throw out lines from movies pretty much at any time of the day. Maybe it’s a guy thing? Among my favorite movies and the quotes therein is Goodfellas, Martin Scorceses’s brilliant film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi.

The film stars Joe Pesci (Tommy), Ray Liotta (Henry) and Robert DeNiro (Jimmy) and is truly an American cinematic classic, in my oh-so-humble opinion. There are many famous lines from the movie with perhaps the most-famous being the oft-repeated “You think I’m funny?” said by Pesci. Well in this case the “shine box” refers to a scene with the 3 aforementioned actors and an actor named Frank Vincent playing the role of Billy Batts. In the scene Batts belittles Tommy relentlessly, making reference to the fact that Tommy used to shine shoes as a younger man.

Tommy resents the references and an argument ensues and Batts utters the line that a) eventually got him killed and b) has become synonymous with complete condescension and disdain.

“Go get your [[bleeping]] shine box.”

The reason I used that phrase in my title is due to the following coming from the mouth of Mark Zuckerberg

In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Mr. Z, in speaking of Google+, said that Google was trying to make its own “little version of Facebook.”

In other words Sergey and Larry… “Go get your [[bleeping]] shine box.”

Now of course we live in a civilized society (most of the time) and Mr. Z would never actually come out and use such coarse language but just the word “little” in “little version of Facebook” strikes of pure condescension to me. How ’bout you?

For their part, Bradly Horowitz, Google’s vice president for product on Google+ said he was “delighted to be underestimated” by Facebook and Mr. Z. I love the use of the word “delighted” by the way. It was Google’s way of saying ‘yeah, yeah Facebook, you just go right on doing what you do but do you have any idea whom you are [[bleeping]] with.’

Here’s the interview in which Horowitz talks about Google+ as a whole and uses the phrase “delighted to be underestimated” when asked about Zuckerberg’s “litle” comment.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

In the same Charlie Rose interview, Zuckerberg also said that he doesn’t envision a winner take all kind of race going on here between Facebook and Google.. “I don’t think that this is going to be the type of situation when one company wins all this stuff,” he said.

Sorry Mark, not buying it. This is business and it’s survival of the fittest and if there’s any way, shape or form that Facebook can take over the social media world en masse, you bet your plugin they will do it. Just as Google would say the same thing… behind closed doors of course.

Sources: Washington Post,, The Star Group, Facebook Tells Google To Go Get Their Shine Box
Image Source: Steve Olenski (yeah, I have an actual Shine Box in my office that my good friendDoug Taylor gave me because he knew how much a movie quote nut I am and how much I love that line… and yes I am on medication :)

Steve Olenski is the Creative Director of Digital Services for The Star Group, a marketing communications firm dedicated to driving engagement with B2B and B2C brands operating in today’s hyper-competitive, rapidly evolving digital marketplace.