🪦 Killed by Google
It has become a running gag to poke fun at Google and its track record of killing products people rely on.
Oh a new product from Google?
I wonder how fast they will kill it this time.
According to https://killedbygoogle.com/ it's no less than 285 products 🤯 that have known this fate.
So clearly it's a structural problem that never got adressed and the backslash from their (ex-)customers is well deserved.
It's fun. But also not so fun.
😞 The same fate await all of us
We do a curious job and that fate of seeing a beloved project goes to the graveyard await all of us!
We do our best to avoid that. And sometimes we do great things. But often it doesn't matter.
☀️ Toxic positivity
"Just focus on the bright side and move on. You have learned new things and your next project will only be better ☀️☀️☀️".
-- Joy from Inside Out
Sorry Joy, but sometimes it's your baby, and loosing your baby hurts.
Ever heard of the stages of grief?
🗣 Sharing stories
Fortunately we are humans and we can create and share stories for fun and self-therapy.
Care to share yours?
Top comments (18)
We could see abandoned projects more like a sand mandala :
That's such a great metaphor, thank you!
EDIT I updated the cover picture to be a sand mandala
That gives the whole topic another focus! I think that's not the original feeling that you had in mind when you wrote the post I guess, but I like the optimistic aspect. Now it is a good post for everyone to read on a Friday.
I don't see "bad" and "good" feeling as incompatible at all. I think suppressing strong emotions only make things worse. Better to do like Eric Ries in my comment and explain how pissed off you are, and then, but only then, do something productive with it. In his case creating the lean startup movement but that doesn't have to be this epic :)
I recently wrote a positive post in favor of accepting anger, after looking back on my previous posts and wondering if I had become a grumpy ranter and if that's a bad thing.
Anger, Laziness, and Healthy Productivity
Ingo Steinke ・ Mar 22 ・ 8 min read
(I hope it's okay to promote my own post here.)
Absolutely, thanks for sharing!
This is really insightful!
This is why software should be opened to the community when EOL is iminent
Totally agree! Imagine the end of Netscape browser without following up with the Mozilla project. Microsoft even thought about making Internet Explorer a paid product, if I remember correctly. But there have been to many good software startups acquired by large companies like Adobe making them worse or even with the intention of abandoning an aspiring competitor. Anything they bought was already spoiled before reaching its official end of life.
On the other side this teaches us that technical dept is not only a concept of software engineering but also when it comes to everyday usage.
I read somewhere that the reason companies like Google do this is because of their internal politics.
People only get promoted if they do an outstanding task that's beyond their expectations. Finding flaws in an existing product and building a new one that fixes the issues is way more impressive than doing a few code patches - a new project requires planning and co-ordination. And so more and more things go to the graveyard as people find ways to get promoted.
Yes that's one of the two convincing stories I've heard. Here is the second one.
Google business model consists basically in printing money, I mean ads.
Any new product has to measure up against such an incredibly lucrative standard.
Products like Google Search, Google Mail, Android, Chrome, Youtube, .... are safe because they help the core printing money thing.
But almost other products that would have been completely fine as a stand alone company can't measure up to that kind of lucrative standard and are doomed from the start to join the graveyard.
My story of thrown-away code goes like this.
At a previous company I worked at, I was once told about a new feature for their web-app that management were planning. Mock-ups were made and time was allocated within the planning sessions. I had a good few weeks working on it. Eventually, the front end was done (I was only working front end at the time). It was something like an interactive scatter graph.
I showed it to my manager; his jaw dropped. I showed it to another of my teammates who was into computer games; his reaction was along the lines of woah - it's like a game.
The back end work was never scheduled. The feature was abandoned. I was disappointed, but I gained a story to tell. And that's pretty cool.
One of my favorite story of failure is in the book The Lean Startup from Eric Ries
Many of you are probably familiar with the methodology itself, but what really sold me to the book is the origin story Eric Ries tells.
Why did he care to try something new in the first place, new things that became formalized as "The Lean Startup".
Damn, most origin stories overdo the story telling and omit many things.
But that one struck so brutally honest, and real. I can feel he is still pissed off.
And it's relatable. Indeed I went to ask me that exact same question when my first baby, my first big project, went to the graveyard despite a tons of good things.
Would it have been better if I had not done any work at all?
Can't wait to see some of the stories here.
For me it's mostly that I lose the project before it's even close to mature due to lack of motivation :/
I criticized Joy from Inside Out and her toxic positivity, but here I would agree with her.
And that's because I see lack of motivation as a helpful signal.
Your brain is lazy, that's because it is smart. It doesn't want you to try to catch a fucking insanely fit antilope if that doesn't immediately work. Sure you could get her with robot-like discipline because you sweat better than her. But you would be exhausted too and that's not the point. We are not competing in the olympics. We are trying to get food as easily as possible. Better scan the environment for a better project!
You speak wise words :)
It's the worst feeling when shutting down your only pet project! Never same again. A big hole inside, feeling empty and getting lost.