When it comes to the internet Google almost always gets things right. The other day I started a discussion on Devils’ Workshop’s Facebook page about what are the things that Google got wrong or what are the things that Google failed at.
There were quite a few opinions but I thought it would make an interesting post on listing them down and why Google seems to have got these services wrong.
#1. Google Wave
This was a failure not on the technology front but from a failure at promising more and under delivering. It was unveiled at the during Google IO developers conference in 2009. It promised to change the way we used internet and more crucially it promised to change the way we use Email. Email and its basic usage has not changed over the last 10-15 years and Wave promised a revolution. When released it turned out to be a collaboration tool rather than a communication tool. Considering Google Wave is still a solid product technically it might still be a success but will it change the world? I doubt it. 😛
#2. Google Answers
Google Answers is something not many people are aware of. It was created in 2002 and the idea was the questions asked could be answered for a price. These answers obviously had to be well researched and the charged per answer could vary from $2 to $200. Aardvark is probably a watered down free concept of Google Answers which Google recently acquired.
I remember the days which were many years ago when testimonials, scraps and looking up who looked up your profile was a cool way to pass ones time on a social network named Orkut. Yes, Orkut has been jazzed up with a redesign and now it does have many similarities with Facebook. Orkut was never leveraged into a great product to the whole world. Google has probably not given much attention to Orkut and when the attention was given I think it is a bit too late. 🙁
#4. Google Buzz
Google Buzz was a great idea. A social network embedded within Gmail. That was a sure fire way to get people interested in it. They did not even wait for you to sign up but simply got everyone with a Gmail account added onto it. Was it supposed to compete with Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo? The point of Google Buzz is that it is simply not an alternative to either Facebook or Twitter and unfortunately for Google we do not want all our Gmail contacts to be contacts on a Social network.
Google decided to come out with its own phone, possibly to take a step forward to compete with Apple’s iPhone. It has not at all competed with iPhone and possibly the Nexus phone is doomed as lately. Apparently the sales are 70% less than what they were expected when Nexus One was released by Google. Earlier it could only be bought online but now the online store will close down and vendors will be selling Nexus One. Probably this one is bad dream that Google would like to forget very soon.
Google might not have got expected success considering their size and power over the internet but many of these products are not central to Google to survive so it won’t really have a lot of impact on Google. Also Google might be leveraging some of these services to keep competitors like Apple (with Nexus) and Facebook (with Buzz) focused on their core competencies and not try to take on Google’s core competency which is Search and Email.
Do you agree with the list or do you have more products to add? Do let me know your views through your comments.