Google: Product Killer: 70 & Counting

That’s not 70 all time, that’s 70 in the last 18 months. How many businesses have the luxury of ditching products at a rate of one per week??

Woody Leonhard says:

By my count, Google has discontinued more than 70 free-standing apps and major sets of APIs in eight different “spring cleanings” over the past 18 months. Perhaps Larry Page took Steve Jobs’ advice to figure out what Google’s good at, and focus … mercilessly.

It is easy to forget in these fast-moving times, but these are some of the more notable dumps:

  • Aardvark – peer-to-peer Q@A, purchased for $50 million, lasted 19 months
  • Google Desktop Search – best you could get, great brand advocate, but not an earner
  • Fast Flip – interestingly the similar product FlipBoard is all the rage these days…
  • Jaiku – like Twitter but they didn’t want to play second fiddle
  • Google Wave – email 3.0, but too advanced to make waves
  • iGoogle – a landing page that was used by millions. They’ve re-animated it until November, but this is one of the more senseless killings
  • Google Reader – it seems almost certain that the most popular replacement will make a $billion
  • FeedBurner – purchased for $100 million, massive user base, hanging on by a thread. Do they dare kill this as well?

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