To err is human – this sentence has been gladly accepted by the mankind; but, to err is Google – this sounds next to impossible for human ears, leave alone being accepted. However, let’s not forget that after all, human brains are working behind those codes and programs that ultimately result into applications. Till date, Google Inc. has bagged several marvelous products to its name that include an infallible search engine, an OS (Android) that rules the smartphone market, a savvy web browser Chrome and a robust mail service.
But, Google Inc. has a graveyard where lay its products that could not make it up to the mark and failed in the web world. But, the motto with which they were introduced to the Internet were extremely noble (you know Google pays utmost attention to the users no matter how crazy those apps are), and so, we thought of peeping into its graveyard and pull out some of its flopped products.
Baptized with a cool sci-fi inspired name, this Google product is counted amongst the biggest failures of Google. Google officials defined it as “a live, shared space on the web where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.” Bundled with unnecessary features, this product was supposed to reinvent email.
It launched with a huge hype and managed to have (few) early interests. But, it lasted for merely fifteen months and ultimately, it had to be shut down because of lack of interest. It failed to carry the distinction of a remarkable application, but it did carry the distinction of Google’s most famous failure.
In the Internet era where people use Google (search engine) to find answers (for free), it actually seems lame to come out with something like Google Answers that asked for money for well-researched answers to the queries. Yes, Google Answers required askers to pay money to the researchers, and in turn, Google kept 25 percent of the researcher’s reward.
It looks like Google completely ignored the fact that a person looking for actual information would actually visit an established websites to find answers for specific areas of interest. Moreover, it also ignored the extensive use of social media where users are more likely to find useful answers from known sources (for free again). No wonder Google completely shut down this service in November 2006.
Google Video Player
This player came as one of the ways to view Google videos, and it ran on Windows and MacOS X. Well, sources say that its attempt was to crush YouTube through its lean, beautiful interface and its (so-called) smart programming. What it lacked was comprehension of the fact that it was, once again, out with something that already existed in the market.
It merely turned out to be a standalone desktop application that played Google Video files. But, it’s discontinuation in August 2007 was a clear indication that the world didn’t require another video player. However, failure of Google Video Player provided a moral for Google – when you enter the market late, bring something that provides a visible improvement over existing products.
Thankfully (for Google), this free online application wasn’t a complete disaster. This one enabled users to organize and save clips of information while carrying out online research. It was a browser-based tool and allowed users to write notes and clip images and text. The baffling question is when it was so useful, why is it lying in the Google graveyard?
Design, usability and a clunky interface were considered to be crucial factors of its failure. It lasted for a good 5 years, but again, seamless integration of technologies resulted into increased lack of users’ interest. However, in one of its posts explaining the shutdown of Google Notebook, Google claimed that its demise was the result of Google evolution (this is what you call a lame excuse).
This was Google’s another experiment to make its mark on the social media and compete with Facebook and Twitter. This one was integrated right with Gmail and allowed users to posts photos, update status and share videos. Well, that was its first mistake because users were angry about the app sneaking on them.
The next mistake was its common one – entering the market late. And Google’s past records show that it doesn’t do very well if it is not first to the market and Google Buzz was one of those products. However, it managed to last for 22 months before it was discontinued, which happened on 15th December 2011.
So, these are some of the most renowned flopped products from the search engine giant company. But, let’s not forget that this is the same Google that has actually done a lot for its users and is currently ruling the web world. While its list of flops is numbered, its list of successful products is pretty long.