Google’s Most Noteworthy Failures

They say failure is an essential part to gaining a truthful success. Without failure, success won’t really be a success because you didn’t really succeed anything. This is certified by Google as probably the most known company in the world nowadays. Being successful in a lot of ways, Google is known for a lot of big projects that are still earning revenue today like the Android system as a mobile platform, Google Earth, Google Maps, and a lot more. If you want a list of success, a 40-page newspaper might not be enough.

However, part of their growth and attempts to get big enough to cover people’s lives day and night are some projects that went out wrong and wasted. There can be a lot of factors to lead to such failures: either the competitor is too strong, or they idea was not well-thought of, or lack of financing and human resource which rarely matters especially to these big guys of the web. Below is a list of the most notable ‘mistakes’ Google has undergone so far. There are actually a lot of them, but these should at least teach you how to appreciate Google even better, and learn from their mistakes as well.

1. Google Wave

A product almost familiar with today’s Google Drive (or Google Docs, if it is really still there), Google Wave is designed for a more effective collaboration between documents from between people through the use of Google’s own e-mail client. Though some have claimed that Google Wave was actually a social networking site ended up being a business-ended platform, Google Wave was actually more like a room for sharing contents without the complexity of sending e-mails and files back and forth. Unfortunately, with a lot of technical drawbacks, the Wave was just shut down with a lot of expense.

2. Jaiku

It can be really tempting to ask why Google is just not good with making social networking sites or platforms. Google has been loved by many because of how simple and easy going around things is. The Jaiku was an attempt to be a social networking site, but more as a micro-blogging one like Twitter. Started out in February 2006, the name derived from the Japanese term ‘Haiku’ which is a short form of literature comprised of three verses each. No, there was not really a problem with Jaiku itself, it was just that it didn’t prosper especially to the people at that time.

3. Google Lively

Seemed like Google has been having fun putting a lot of contents down to a single web page. Google Lively is actually another social networking attempt, but this time, it works more like the PC game ‘The Sims.’ It was a 3D virtual environment where people in the form of avatars can see and talk to each other, with communication lines appear as chat bubbles. With lack of support and only a few people to appreciate such, Lively became the opposite of what its name suggests.

4. Google Answers

I know we are familiar with the equivalent of this: the Yahoo! Answers. The Answers by Yahoo is actually still existing, and though you do not really get accurate answers or results based on how you asked a question and how much you put on the table as your ‘bet,’ the idea and the presentation is fun and engaging. Knowing this, Google also attempted this kind of search technique, which I think were supposed to be more effective because of the name ‘Google.’ However, the growth of Google’s database and indexing in its search engine was preferred more, and despite the guarantees, the Answers was just closed for no real solid reasons.

5. Google Video

Just in case you still did not notice, YouTube, the world’s leading online video resource and player, is actually bought and owned now by Google for about $1.6 billion dollars. Interestingly, before this, Google started out its own YouTube-like page. With the inability to overtake the leading competitor, the results are now obvious for you to tell.

6. Google Print and Radio Ads

Seemed like Google was really fond at taking place in people’s lives. As the name of the project suggests, Google had actually attempted to penetrate the world of radio broadcasting and even on-print materials like newspapers and Yellow pages. The real problem that occurred to this project of Google was not apparent even after its two years of implementation and experimentation. Probably because of some real difficulties in making visible and audible ads from search results, the project was just closed in 2009.

7. SearchWiki, SideWiki, and Knol

These three little guys of Google were actually attempts to compete with the ever-famous, undying Wikipedia. We’ve known WikiPedia as a tremendous free resource of information on the web, and despite the thought that the contents are just actually guest-written or contributed and may contain some wrong details, it is still the world’s leading online encyclopedia ever used. Now, Google already made some good database for a start, yet adding some flares like allowing user interactions, but with the assumed reason of being not able to totally compete and gain support, the three just went down like rain.

8. Dodgeball

If you know what Google Latitude does and what good it should be, learn that it was actually a replacement to the Dodgeball that sprouted around 2005 or 2006. Came up with the now-successful Android system, Dodgeball’s aim was actually to introduce a mobile-based social network that integrates maps to bring up people and interests nearby a location. There’s not an exact reason why Dodgeball was withdrawn as a service, but as for me, I just call it simply a failure.

9. Google Notebook

Putting it simply, the Notebook is just a web-based notebook where you paste your copied notes, links, and some other contents and be able to share them to friends or collaborators. Obviously such features are all working under Google Docs now, and it can apparently be clear that making it as a separate project was a keen mistake made by Google for its users.

10. Google X

“Roses are red, violets are blue. OS X Rocks. Home page to you.” –this was the actually message found at the bottom of the one-day event of Google known as Google X. Google X was simple: it’s aim is to make a good compatible face to Mac or Apple users as a search engine. We can still hardly find Google penetrating the world of Apple these days, but I’d say, at least it was a good and tricky try.

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