Thursday, November 16, 2006

Features, not products

Wake up call over at Google? Though a little saddened that the quick surprise releases of new cool things will slow down or stop for now, I do agree that some fine tuning and improving of their core will be very welcome.

Interesting how it somewhat mirrors the old Surfboard strategy too. At first it was more sites, more categories, more sections. But later it turned to more automation, tighter Zuma integration, better usability.

Google Puts Lid on New Products

In another sign of Google Inc.'s growth from start-up to corporate behemoth, the company's top executives said Thursday that they had begun telling engineers to stop launching so many new services and instead focus on making existing ones work together better.

The initiative's primary goal is to make Google products easier to use, especially by packaging disparate products. For example, said Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, Google plans to combine its spreadsheet, calendar and word-processing programs into one suite of Web-based applications.

The company does not plan to tell engineers to halt all new products, Google said, nor does it plan to kill little-used services.

Rather, the effort is more focused on future development. After launching the initiative this summer, Schmidt said, Google canceled several services in development — which he would not describe — and instructed their creators to instead make them features in other products.


Jake of All Trades said...


This quote:

Surveys showed that Google users could recall a half-dozen or so products, Schmidt said, but "they cannot remember 35."

...made me want to see how many I could name. Without cheating, here's the off the top of my head list:

1. Search
2. Groups
3. News
3. Maps
4. Gmail
5. Froogle
6. Video
7. Images
8. Docs & Spreadsheets
9. Google Base
10. Google Talk
11. Google Earth
12. Picassa
13. Catalogs
14. Desktop Search
15. Toolbar
16. Calendar
17. Checkout
18. Books
19. Finance
20. Language Tools

After the above I ran out of ideas and did cheat. Full list is here

I missed Blogger (Duh!), and SMS (which I'm probably a top user of), and didn't think Labs really counted as a "Product" per se. Other misses were either new, tangential to regular search, or just rarely used by me.

SpaceMonkeyMojo said...

Without cheating or repeating your list (which is very impressive)

Picassa (oh shit you have that one)