Proving that even the world’s best and most innovative companies have to do a bit of failing in order to discover what resonates with its audience, Google announced recently that it would killing at least nine different platforms and initiatives that had previously showed promise.
The cancellations include Google Aardvark, which had been described as Google as “an experiment in a new kind of search” that gave appropriate answers to users’ questions. Aardvark was acquired as a start-up in early 2010, but hadn’t panned out like Google had hoped.
Google Desktop is similarly being done away with – the official Google Blog cited a “huge shift” from local to cloud-based computing and storage. The reason given for discontinuing Google Desktop is that both online and offline instant access to information has been accomplished, though some are left wondering whether the program simply wasn’t popular enough with users to justify its existence.
Google Pack is also gone, and Google cites popularity with more web-based applications such as Google Docs as the reason. Google Pack had been aimed with downloadable software in mind, but Google is right to focus on a more web-based approach.
A very ambitious project known as SideWiki is also being shut down with the “fall cleaning.” While the attempt at collaborative results sounded like a good idea, the program simply didn’t resonate.
Be sure to visit the Google Blog to find what other projects and programs Google is discontinuing. While some elements of these innovations will live on in other programs, unfortunately many of these will be remembered as essentially failed projects.