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Cover image for 😤 That feeling when your favorite project too goes in the graveyard...
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard

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😤 That feeling when your favorite project too goes in the graveyard...

🪦 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.

Image description

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)

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ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke

We could see abandoned projects more like a sand mandala :

Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. Once complete, the sand mandala's ritualistic dismantling is accompanied by ceremonies and viewing to symbolize Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard • Edited

That's such a great metaphor, thank you!

EDIT I updated the cover picture to be a sand mandala

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ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke

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.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard • Edited

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 :)

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ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke • Edited

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.


(I hope it's okay to promote my own post here.)
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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard

Absolutely, thanks for sharing!

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ndewald profile image
Nicholas DeWald

This is really insightful!

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jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

This is why software should be opened to the community when EOL is iminent

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ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke

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.

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jankapunkt profile image
Jan Küster

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.

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ant_f_dev profile image
Anthony Fung

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.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard • Edited

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.

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ant_f_dev profile image
Anthony Fung

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.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard • Edited

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".

Perhaps you can sympathize with our situation and forgive my obstinacy.
After all, it was my work over the prior months that needed to be thrown away. I had slaved over the software that was required to make our IM program intemperate with other networks, which was at the heart of our original strategy. When it came time to pivot and abandon that original strategy, almost all of my work—thousands of lines of code—was thrown out.
I felt betrayed. I was a devotee of the latest in software develop ment methods (known collectively as agile development), which promised to help drive waste out of product development. However, despite that, I had committed the biggest waste of all: building a product that our customers refused to use. That was really depressing.
I wondered: in light of the fact that my work turned out to be a waste of time and energy, would the company have been just as well off if I had spent the last six months on a beach sip ping umbrella drinks? Had I really been needed?
Would it have been better if I had not done any work at all?

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?

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liftoffstudios profile image
Liftoff Studios

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 :/

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard • Edited

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!

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Liftoff Studios

You speak wise words :)

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bybydev profile image
byby

It's the worst feeling when shutting down your only pet project! Never same again. A big hole inside, feeling empty and getting lost.