Google reader, iGoogle, Google talk – these, and many others, are all products relegated by Google to the scrap-bin of history. Yet rather then a mark of failure it is an indication of how the $345 billion dollar company operates – going forward by not being afraid to fail.
Google’s core product is search of course. It has sustained it through the last decade of web innovation and will likely continue to be the central product fr some to come. With this source of stability Google chooses (and is able) to take risks in other areas. Many of these have not paid off – and Google is also very good at making the decision to cut the rope when needed, though the fate of Google+ is still up in the air. But without this willingness to fail there would be no gmail, chrome, google books, translation, google news – and many other products Google has successfully introduced. Now if they would only actually stick to their original motto.
Have a look at this infographic below which details 20 of the products which Google killed off: