I read the announcement today that Google Checkout has been discontinued. It was also featured on HackerNews.
The most popular comment right now is by ChrisNorstrom:
“Google is making the same mistakes Microsoft made. Trying to enter into every industry it can thinking it can use it’s monopoly power to take over the world. Reality: Doing 20 things mediocrely is not as profitable of doing 2 things very very well.”
The comments vary, but I tend to see this line of thinking quite often nowadays.
Why exactly can’t Google try new things and then discontinue them if they don’t gain enough traction? Why is trying new services out a bad thing? Are they supposed to be perfect?
Here are a few Google experiments off the top of my head that turned out alright:
- google reader
- google maps
- google fiber
- google glass
- google drive
- google docs
- google news
- google play
- google music
- google trends
- google voice
- Nexus 7
I don’t think people realize how many products Google has at any given time. Not every product that google makes is going to be successful.
So just because they won’t be successful every time means that they should not try because it makes them look bad to fail?
Do you really think that is a healthy thought process? How will anyone ever innovate with that state of mind? Google is a massive company and they still act like a startup. It’s absolutely incredible and takes a lot of guts to start products like Google+ so late in the game.
Did they ram Google+ down our throats? Absolutely. But you know what? They are making waves by innovating the space.
Is the consumer going to lose faith in Google because they discontinued one of their free services like Google Reader? People want Google to spend resources and money on developing tools for them to use for free or for a low cost. Then be the first ones to complain when it’s discontinued. It’s ridiculous.
Google is the ONE company that you should want to invade a new market and try to innovate. They are the ONE company that has the resources to decide one day to get into X Market and you should be excited at the thought. They are the one company that can invest millions of dollars in a new endeavor and make billion dollar companies take notice. (Think Google Fiber).
Would you rather still be using MapQuest than Google Maps for navigation?
What is it, exactly, that makes you want to hate a company like Google, Facebook, or Yahoo so much?
Why is it, that when Facebook bought Instagram it’s the worst thing to ever happen. Why is it that when Google unified its terms of service it was inherently evil. I don’t hear anyone complaining about Google Now?
I get it, everyone wants to hate the biggest companies because it’s the cool thing to do. I could make an argument that Google has done more for the web in the past 5 years than any company.
Again, I’m not saying they are perfect. What I am saying is that they seem to be one of the few that has the balls to innovate and don’t care if they fail.