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Googles 50 closures in 2011

 
 
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Philb
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject: Googles 50 closures in 2011 Reply with quote

Well, it's not exactly 50, but it's close to it. Or it could be over because it's likely I missed a few. Full blog post at http://philbradley.typepad.com/phil_bradleys_weblog/2011/12/google-almost-50-functions-resources-killed-in-2011.html but if you want the bare bones:

Google Gears died in March at HTML 5 became the tool of choice.

Google Health

Google Powermeter

Google Labs. In Google labs we've lost:

Google Talk Guru

Google Body

Art Project

Google Body (Although this has been taken over by ZygoteBody)

Tashkeel (A tool to add missing diacritics to Arabic text)

Open Spot (parking application)

Script converter (converting text and web pages from one script to another)

City Tours (Suggested multi-day walking tours of major cities given a starting address.)

FastFlip (Blindingly fast overviews of headline pages of top newspapers.)

FollowFinder (Google Follow Finder analyzed public social graph information (following and follower lists) on Twitter to find people you might want to follow.)

Realtime Mytracks (Experience the Tour de France like never before.)

Google Squared (Fun matrix creator)

People Hopper (Want to see how distant your friend is from you or your other friends visually? )

Google Sets (Nice tool to help you think through a query and appropriate terms. Google wants to think for you.)

Related Links (a tool to help webmasters increase page views)

InQuotes (a really useful tool to see what politicians were saying about a wide variety of subjects)

Google Image Swirl (interesting image visualisation tool)

We also have lost

Google Toolbar for Firefox (Very useful, but then that helped keep people with Firefox, and Google wants us to use Chrome, so if it's a choice between Google and cash, or assistance to users, we know what's going to win out, eh?)

Code Search

Diacritize

Google PowerMeter

Sidewiki

Wave (remember how that was going to be the really big next thing and change the way that we used the web?)

Google Friends newsletter (And of course they killed the Google Librarian Center a long time before and promised us a newsletter instead - what came of that?)

Google Directory (which still exists prior and post in the form of Dmoz )

Aardvark (Which I'm bitterly disappointed about, because it was an excellent product and worthy of continuance, but hey, if it wasn't churning out cash for the big G, it's gotta go, right?)

Google Slide which they bought for $228,000,000 the previous August. Just imagine being able to throw away that kind of money!

Google Desktop

The Google Pack (a collection of handy to install resources and applications)

Google Image labeller

Google Notebook

Subscribed Links

Google Maps API for Flash

Google Web Security

Buzz (another game changer)

Eliminated iGoogle's social features

Google Code Search

Wonder Wheel

Timeline search

Google Newspaper Archive (still there, but not being continued or worked on)

The + search function (which has supposedly been flipped to work with Google+ but I still see no evidence of it)

They've also removed direct links to Pagelinks and Related Pages on the Advanced Search option, and they've pretty much hidden that as well.

This is NOT a flourishing company!
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Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil, I've never even heard of most of these, never mind used any of them.

As long as they don't shut down AdSense (and AdWords upon which that depends) I'll be quite happy.

Do you really think that these closures are evidence of a not flourishing company? To me it looks more like a sign of having too many ideas, many of which didn't work, so they've made the rational decision to ditch them. A lot of creative people and companies have "too many ideas" and not all of them work.

If these things weren't making money for them, then it seems to be a good move to shut them down. That would make for a more profitable company rather than throwing good money after bad.
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Philb
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it doesn't seem sensible to spend $288 million on a company just to shutter it, and $50 million on another (Vark) to close it.

There's another line of thinking as well - which is that everything is now being rolled into Google+ and stuff that can't do so is going to be dumped. We could well be seeing Google morphing into Google 2.0 at the moment. This of course means that you'll have to use G+ if you like it or not...
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adigaskell
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Failure is a key part of innovating so I'm not surprised that Google have achieved lots of failures in the past few years. The key is to ensure your failures are small enough that they don't damage you. Such is the cash generated by Google that they can afford to write off even pretty expensive ventures as a learning experience.

It is very difficult however to dominate one area and then go on to dominate another. MS really failed to get anywhere with the web because doing so would mean they would probably harm their desktop presence.

The media are struggling big time because they have a real world thing they desperately want to protect, all the while the web is slowly eating it away.

I wonder if search and social can operate side by side or one will eventually usurp the other. If it will then Google will have to pull a real rabbit out of the hat to skip across the industries, as very few companies have managed to achieve this.
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't suppose many truly big companies are flourishing under the current climate.

If you look at the share price as an indicator, Google has risen by 5% year where the NASDAQ as a whole has declined by 2%.

Whilst there clearly seem to be some mistakes here, it would appear that they're being addressed, at least.
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