Sometimes it can be daunting as a business owner to see the success of businesses like Google. It seems like almost everything they touch turns to gold, but ultimately that’s not true. They have had their fair share of failed products, do you remember Froogle, Google Wave, Google Viewer? All products that were launched with much fan-fair by Google but actually FAILED!
Now we don’t like to revel in other companies failures, but it’s nice to know that even tech giants like Google make mistakes. So let’s have a look at 2 of Googles failed products and see what we can learn from their failures.
Google Wave had some real potential with real time, collaborative editing and a very cool sci-fi inspired name it was once lauded as the “next facebook”. But after just a few months it was pulled due to a reported lack of interest from users.
Now this is interesting considering at the time Google was the most popular website in the world. You would think with all their users and searches every single day they could swiftly launch a product and reach strong usage levels. Ultimately though they couldn’t get enough users and as a result they had to shut down.
Lesson Learned: Traffic isn’t the only key part of the Internet success formula, you also have to build a great, innovative and engaging product that fits your customers needs.
Google Checkout has recently been re-launched and is seeing some reasonable success but initially it was in the “failed products pile”. Mainly because the product was not an “innovation” rather it was an “imitation”. The product was designed to compete with paypal and imitated many of the major functions of paypal.
In fact when Google Checkout launched they held a huge party in the exact same town that eBay was holding their annual sellers conference. Now, to make things even cheekier they invited all of eBay’s top sellers to the launch party.
As a result of this, the very next day eBay pulled their advertising from Google. The executive team saw this as a sizable account to lose and as a result the next day shut down Google Checkout.
Lesson Learned: Don’t launch a business, which competes with one of your biggest clients and then try and steal the customers of your clients.
As you can see from just these two failed products Google has made some pretty fundamental business mistakes on their way to success. It makes us feel a little bit better about some of the mistakes we’ve made on our journey.
Let us know in the comments below a few other Google products that you believe have failed, and why they failed. We’d love to see your thoughts!