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How Google Decides To Cancel a Project

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the if-it-doesn't-sound-good-with-a-leading-g dept.

Google 75

The New York Times is running a story about the criteria involved when Google scraps one of their projects. While a project's popularity among users is important, Google also examines whether they can get enough employees interested in it, and whether it has a large enough scope — they prefer not to waste time solving minor problems. The article takes a look at the specific reasons behind the recent cancellation of several products. "Dennis Crowley, one of two co-founders who sold Dodgeball to Google in 2005 and stayed on, said that he had trouble competing for the attention of other Google engineers to expand the service. 'If you're a product manager, you have to recruit people and their "20 percent time."' ... [Jeff Huber, the company's senior vice president of engineering] said that Google eventually concluded that Dodgeball's vision was too narrow. ... Still, Google found the concepts behind Dodgeball intriguing, and early this month, it released Google Latitude, an add-on to Google Maps that allows people to share their location with friends and family members. It's more sophisticated than Dodgeball, with automatic location tracking and more options for privacy and communication."

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There's no right way... (-1, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863979)

...to eat a Rhesus.

Re:There's no right way... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864047)

Will you please stop monkeying around?

Re:There's no right way... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26865487)

this is the right way
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7DmFjJYwqk [youtube.com]

But will this work in your company? (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863991)

Google has the benefit of having a lot of employees, a lot of goodwill, and a lot of money, so when it takes the "throw shit at the wall and see what sticks" business strategy, things have a way of working out for them.

But would this work for anyone else? Maybe Apple.

Re:But will this work in your company? (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864143)

Well sometimes things aren't quite right like when the shit is runny. MSFT tablet, and ultra mobile PC's, fall into this category.

A good idea, done in by poor interface choices, barely tolerable battery life, high prices, etc.

In the next 18 months with the emergence of touch screen netbooks with new interfaces, and more importantly low prices. you will see just how much needs to change in slight ways.

Apple does the throw shit at the wall and see what sticks too. however that wall is normally well hidden from view. My iphone is awesome. however the number of prototypes that were built before is the really interesting question.

Re:But will this work in your company? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26865883)

It's just that Apple fanboys have a poor memory of the bad shit. Evidence: Apple TV.

Nevermind most years after the adoption of PowerPC and before the introduction of the iPod.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26869337)

For the record, I like my apple tv. I just can't wait for them to add a browser so I can access Hulu with it...

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

Sinning (1433953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26873675)

"They" already have created a way to access Hulu using an apple tv.

Check this out [boxee.tv]

Re:But will this work in your company? (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864169)

It's what they call a cash cow. Large segment of the market, not a lot of growth. Piling more money into the market isn't going expand it a lot so it makes more sense to take the cash generated and invest it in other products. Apple are in a similar position with the iPod (The mp3 player market is still expanding but not as much as when the original ipod was released), and so are Microsoft with Windows.

It's pretty much 101 business strategy stuff.

Re:But will this work in your company? (3, Insightful)

Fat Cow (13247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864353)

This _should_ be a cash cow for the shareholders. If these companies can't invest this money profitably then they are morally obligated to return it to the shareholders.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864707)

Morally Obligated? We are talking about money not morals!
It is only obligatory when written ia a signed contract!

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865007)

When people like this use the phrase "morally obligated", it's simply a phrase meant to hide the lack of true morals in their own personal, self serving greed.

Re:But will this work in your company? (4, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865033)

When people use the phrase "true morals," I reach for my shotgun.

Re:But will this work in your company? (5, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865269)

When people use the phrase "I reach for my shotgun", I give Anne a good night kiss, grab my pants, and shimmy out the window.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26871039)

that would make you a non-anonymous coward :)

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26868269)

Worst mis-spelling of "dictionary" ever.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26866269)

I find that getting a chance to speak on the conference call or at the shareholders' meeting AND actually to be listened to (they rarely give the smallholders who might each get 3 minutes during the general comment period any attention) is basically impossible for an individual shareholder at a large company. Unless you personally own 5% or more of the outstanding shares you are like the small business guy asking the bankers for a loan in those Capital One ads (you know where the small business owner is like an gnat shouting at giants). The only other way is to really make a lot of calls and try to organize a group of small holders to vote as block (and have them elect you to speak for the group at the shareholders' meeting). That last option is very difficult to do. For example, when the Roy Disney (who owned at least 5% of the outstanding shares at the time personally) organized a coalition to oust Michael Eisner as chairman of the board, he was still only able to muster ~43% of the votes against Eisner and even then it was technically not enough for him to lose the election. However, he eventually resigned anyway due to the unprecedented vote of no confidence by so many shareholders. Roy Disney had to work long and hard and make lots of calls to get that coalition together prior to the meeting which was probably like having a full time job for a couple of months prior.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26866419)

Morally, I'd say Google's executives are obligated to do what's best for the company. Legally this is exactly the case. Now, if this was a paper mill, perhaps shareholders would be happy to just have a chunk of the revenue. In this case, shareholders were most likely aware that Google would want to expand into other markets, and this was one of the factors that increased their desire to invest in the company.

Google is in a better position to exploit internet based technology than individual shareholders. They have a strong brand name and will get a certain amount of free publicity through Google's current popularity in technological circles.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

plman15 (963775) | more than 5 years ago | (#26867309)

F*ck the shareholders: Companies are obligated to their customers and employees first.

Re:But will this work in your company? (4, Interesting)

jschen (1249578) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864885)

This makes sense only if the new projects are, on average, equally lucrative. (Apple's iPod, for example, is highly profitable.) Otherwise, the money could be better used to generate dividends or do share buybacks. Companies can't grow bigger indefinitely. At some point, a successful company should start generating a consistent revenue stream for its owners (shareholders).

Re:But will this work in your company? (3, Informative)

rmerry72 (934528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865939)

Companies can't grow bigger indefinitely. At some point, a successful company should start generating a consistent revenue stream for its owners (shareholders).

Nope. Unfortunately that is not the way the economy works. Shareholders are not looking for revenue or profit (ie cash, dividends) from companies. They are looking for wealth. Specifically increases in the share price. That requires growth - or at least the appearance of it - and for that companies need to "invest" in new markets, technologies and products.

A steady revenue stream will not keep your share price up as lots of investors - particularly institutional investors which make up the far bulk of share ownership today - sell out and look for higher yield stocks. Our stock market does not look at the overall size or profitability of an organisation and certainly doesn't reward over all size. The important thing - the only thing - is growth.

And before anybody chimes in with the obvious, yes in today's downtrodden economy when most of the world is going backwards, just standing still and not shrinking is enough "growth" to stand out from your competitors.

Re:But will this work in your company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26871015)

Growth is not *required*, it only boosts the valuation of the company. As an example, consider the DCF (discounted cash flow), a simple model of valuation, which defines a company's worth as a sum of dividends paid from now until eternity, with each successive dividend being exponentially "discounted" because of its time-shift. This series adds up to a finite number that represents the company's worth.

The projected growth of a company, even if we assume that it will continue forever, exponentially increases the future dividend, but since future dividends are discounted, it simply lessens the discount. As a result, even sustained growth only makes the company somewhat more valuable, but it doesn't create value out of thin air.

Re:But will this work in your company? (4, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864233)

Oddly enough, the process isn't -too- different in smaller companies. You don't actually build the prototype, but since you can get direct access to the owner/boss, you can present your idea to him/her. If they like it, you'll get to build it.

It's medium-sized companies that have the problem. They can't afford the 'see what sticks' approach, and you can't talked to the owner/boss personally, so there's no way for this to happen without some favoritism being involved. Even companies that have 'good idea' programs rarely actually get them.

Re:But will this work in your company? (4, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864597)

That's different really. Google's approach is to build something and see what the Internet community likes. The small business approach is to pitch something and see what the boss/owner likes. A bit different.

But at medium to larger businesses, you do get the chance to present new ideas to higher levels of management. If you pitch an idea and it gets some attention, your group can be given funding to produce a prototype.

Still, usually no one outside the company gets to see these prototypes. There are a couple of exceptions -- in the auto industry you have events like the North American International Auto Show where prototypes are tossed at consumers and marketroids note how the media and how consumers react to the prototypes. That information fuels decisions about new models for the next few years, typically.

But Google's approach is altogether different. First off, the vast majority of their money is tied up in infrastructure, not development. Producing a new product doesn't cost nearly as much as it would a traditional software house.

Think of it this way: what's it take to produce an N-tier enterprise intranet app? An analyst/project manager, maybe a couple of page designers, a couple of domain experts, a 3-4 core software developers, a DBA and a systems/network administrator. And you can do it with half that if you have pay for a team of highly-experienced superstars.

So the reason they can afford to 'toss shit against the wall and see what sticks' is because they're already spending on the infrastructure -- that cost is known and somewhat fixed. The variable part, the new development, costs relatively very little.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26866613)

Vista's UAC was built on what the Internet community "likes", to use that term in the broadest way possible. People wanted security, they wanted some level of protection from accidentally hosing a machine. However it turned out that there was a huge gap between what the internet wanted and what users in general wanted in the first place. UAC is hideous by anyone's standard.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

damaki (997243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26867023)

People wanted the same visual sudo as in Ubuntu, they delivered a half-baked one, only designed to be annoying. I am still trying to figure out why I should have to clic two times on "yes" when I am trying to move a file to Program Files. "Are you sure?" and "Are you really sure?" are two stupid question when put together in line. The result is that people still ignore what is written because it is garbage.

So to come back to the subject : I you copy something people like, make a good copy. Google created Google Videos when YouTube was popular only to realize that people did not move on from YouTube. They made an online copy of Office, and then it somehow works. So yeah, they try, often fail but when they succeed, they make great stuff such as gmail or their search engine.

How many bad copies for a success?

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26868895)

*still wishes that YouTube would pick up Google Video's ${VIDEO_URL}#MM_SS method of linking to a particular place in the video.*

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

strupet (995426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26879019)

do you know how it works on youtube? I tried this #t=xxmxxs but it didn't work sometimes...do i need leading zeros? thx

Re:But will this work in your company? (3, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864567)

Google has the benefit of having a lot of employees, a lot of goodwill, and a lot of money, so when it takes the "throw shit at the wall and see what sticks" business strategy, things have a way of working out for them.

But would this work for anyone else? Maybe Apple.

No way. Apple try hard to give off an aura of 'hey, we're just cool guys having fun', but the reality is they are very structured and don't tend to do off the wall projects.

There is really one guy making the decisions as to what is good enough to survive, or even be started, and that's Steve Jobs.

Ok, he makes a lot of good choices, but they don't have anything like the setup that Google have.

They typically launch very tightly controlled products and evolve those, adding new features as required in order to either stay ahead of the competition or to get users to re buy the latest version.

Where they win is presentation, their stuff appeals to non geeks, so people get tricked into beleiving that Apple themselves are as cool and fun as their products and advertising make them appear.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

nicklott (533496) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864785)

Surely apple are the complete opposite of that? They have like 3 products...

Re:But will this work in your company? (3, Insightful)

mysterons (1472839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864833)

Google has the benefit of having a lot of employees, a lot of goodwill, and a lot of money, so when it takes the "throw shit at the wall and see what sticks" business strategy, things have a way of working out for them.

But would this work for anyone else? Maybe Apple.

One problem with grading projects by how popular they are internally is that flashy projects get chosen over boring, less obvious but quite possibly equally important ones.

An example: who would want to work on infrastructure which is never directly visible to the outside world?

Re:But will this work in your company? (2, Insightful)

stevey (64018) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864893)

An example: who would want to work on infrastructure which is never directly visible to the outside world?

Me, but that's probably why I'm mostly a sysadmin only part-time programmer.

Without the presence of a good infrastructure you can't have nowhere for the flashy stuff to be developed/hosted/placed.

Re:But will this work in your company? (2, Insightful)

rmerry72 (934528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26866029)

Without the presence of a good infrastructure you can't have nowhere for the flashy stuff to be developed/hosted/placed.

Very, very true. Which is why most people prefer other people work on the infrastructure. Own culture idolizes those that do the flashy stuff and gives little credit to those that do the hard invisible stuff, and so everybody wants to do the flashy stuff in order to be idolized. Most people would prefer to be racing car drivers than car mechanics, even racing car mechanics.

That's sad, cause I find the most joy in solving the hard problems that nobody ever hears about. How boring to be a racing car driver, I say. Any moron can drive around a track, as long as I make the car go fast and handle well enough.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

damaki (997243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26867085)

Any moron can drive around a track, as long as I make the car go fast and handle well enough.

Quite true. In F1 races, they keep on changing rules every year only to prevent Ferrari from winning one more time. So, let's settle on

Any good enough moron can drive around a track, as long as I make the car go fast and handle well enough.

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

Kuxman (876286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865023)

Because it could be really, really cool. As an engineer I like "hard" problems, and when I find a project interesting I go after it -- regardless of how "flashy" it is to the general public.

I think in Google's case, this is certainly true if you examine how much work has gone into their infrastructure (and how many research papers have been written on those topics).

Re:But will this work in your company? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26865435)

who would want to work on infrastructure which is never directly visible to the outside world?

I work at Google on an infrastructure project that is not directly visible to the outside world. On a normal working day I really don't care if what I do is directly visible to the outside world. I can see how this project is a good thing for our users, and I know for a fact that our founders consider this project very important, shouldn't that be more important to me than what bloggers around the internet think? The only times where it is slightly annoying to be working on something that isn't visible is when friends from outside the company ask me what I am working on, and the only answer I can give is "internal infrastructure". But the project has importance and technical challenges to be solved. And even if I was granted a wish for something to change, then working on something more visible wouldn't be the first thing on my list - if at all.

Re:But will this work in your company? (2, Insightful)

Supergibbs (786716) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864867)

No, Apple might do something similar but afterwards takes whatever sticks and makes it pretty, strips out any advanced features and wraps the whole thing in proprietary crap

Re:But will this work in your company? (1)

defiek (1478245) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865103)

Apple's business model is more or less based around planned obsolescence. They already know what works without having to "throw shit at the wall and see what sticks" as you succinctly put it. All they have to do is release a slew of upgraded products on a regular basis.

Re:But will this work in your company? (0, Offtopic)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865443)

Yeah, apparently Google's good will includes acquiring companies and firing all existing employees that do not have IV league degrees. Other than that, they are killer.

Yep, thats right, I just talked smack about google. *waits for the flamebate status*

Hahah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864079)

You just just been mugged by the slashnigger!

Gotta' love that crime-ridden nigger, [whitehouse.gov] who just stole $700 Billion of you dollars and handed it over to the irresponsible.

Those who promote forced redistribution of wealth should be in prison.

Re:Hahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864745)

since the money needs to be borrowed, the actual cost is closer to 1+ trillion. And some of the stimulus is an expansion of the federal government, which means it will be an annual expense, not just a one-time event. But hey, anyone who isn't rich (which now means a $70,000 salary) gets an extra $13 a week.

Re:Hahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26867173)

People who believe we have to "spend our way to prosperity" should have their heads dunked in a toilet. How does that work, exactly? Any money the Government spends is either: 1) Taken out of our pockets, or 2) Borrowed. (I'm including issuing bonds and such that are paid back using newly printed money as "borrowing"). There's no magic money tree. Government does not "produce" anything.

So, the stimulus is basically Obama and Congress taking our money and spending it however *they* feel like it. There is no "magic plan" to strategically stimulate the economy - this stimulus bill is the result of the disparate efforts of 535 legislators who are not necessarily any smarter than you or I, throwing everything including the kitchen sink into this bill.

What nobody seems to get is that the money spent on this stimulus bill has other possible uses - uses that *you* and *I* would normally get to choose. We could hire another employee, buy another machine, save it, buy gas, whatever. These are all valid uses. However, the stimulus bill proposes that we don't know how to best use our money to "stimulate" the economy. This is idiotic.

Obviously (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864105)

Anything not in beta goes onto the Mad Maxian wheel. It's then spun by Tina Turner and whichever project it lands on gets thrown out.

Google for "fail" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864145)

The only things of googles that I use is the search engine, youtube and hosted jQuery, in my opinion almost everything else sucks. It seems to me that sucking heavily is a requirement for getting a project accepted at the googleplex.

An analytics service that relies on javascript, some Win32 software and a bunch of sloppy API's and kooky, modified 3rd party code.

Oh and Google, can you please stop using using document.write? I'm sick of having XHTML compliance in a spec and having to waste time hacking around your stupidity on the clients dollar.

Recruit? (1)

billyweb (1478153) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864153)

If you have to recruit engineers to work on your project, that might be an indication its time to move on.

Re:Recruit? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864217)

All Google projects have to recruit engineers. It's just the Google way.

Re:Recruit? (3, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864307)

You know I have a product that is doing very well, and I am hoping to be bought out. Though if it does not I will have enough clients. But I digress...

If say Google were to buy me out and the success of this product depended on whether or not I could recruit engineers I would say screw it!

Google would have bought me out so I would have my money. And if Google is too stupid to do anything with the investment its their problem, not mine.

I mean so I could work there twiddle my thumbs surf, and do nothing until I could leave...

Personally I never thought too much of the Program Manager approach. Lends itself to be less focused in my opinion.

I have found that the best companies have REALLY good visionaries who say, "lets do this, and if you don't like it its your problem not mine." Yes many companies fail, but there are many who do quite well as a result of it.

Re:Recruit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864659)

Yet personally recruiting engineers encourages that people to work harder on the projects (since they are interested) rather then people being forced. If the project isn't part of the 80% work segment, then it's obviously not important enough to google as a whole so leaving the 20% work as a filter for a probably large number of smaller projects.

Re:Recruit? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26865183)

You don't get my point do you?

Why on earth is Google buying a company that it will not use? If I was a shareholder of Google I would be bleeding furious at the waste of money.

Re:Recruit? (1)

rossifer (581396) | more than 5 years ago | (#26869057)

Google will sometimes buy a startup to recruit the engineers capable of writing that system. If a $10M bonus (much of it in stock and tied to a vesting schedule) can recruit some of the best thinkers in a field, it may be well worth it.

Re:Recruit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26873799)

It buys them for any of the following reasons:

1) talent recruitment. Think of it as a large recruiting bonus if you actually demonstrate you can take a product from idea to implementation with users. You can probably do it again and will produce a better than average return on investment. If you've seen google's hiring process this helps explain why this is even more viable. Any purchased company with less than 10 people could fall into this.

2) So someone else doesn't get you. Yes your product is gee whizy. and everyone thinks it's cool but who knows if it will make money. Yahoo, MSFT, Apple may buy you to add to their stable of products and who knows it could successfully add to their ability to market to the pool of engineering applicants. Or it could actually draw some searchers away give valuable search data to your competitor. chalk this investment up to either a recruiting cost or an insurance cost. Pretty much anything in the mobile space could be chalked up to this.

3) your product really is cool and amazing and adds to the data that google doesnt currently have the ability to collect on people. I mean google does want to know everything about what you do. Their stated goal is to organize the worlds information and make it easily accessible. So while they may not use it the way it was they might reimplement it with lessons learned into existing products. Google Analytics is a good example of this.

4) so PM successfully lobbied that this was the next big thing. everyone was busy and accidentally said yes. Yeah it happens sometimes crap gets bought because a slick salesman did their job well and the managers at google were not really paying enough attention. Personally I think Google Audio Ads falls into this one but I'm sure they really thought they could succeed with it if they were willing to pay close to $1B for it.

5) Screw with a potential competitors revenue stream. Pretty much Gmail to Google Docs all fall into this one. It's always a bonus if you can with small investment on your end force your competitor to either spend more or have to cut prices for their products. Gmail nicely did both even if it never earns a cent. Yahoo and MSFT had to up the amount they gave away for free. Who doesn't see Google Docs as a nice little way to pull small business away from the MSFT teet. Yes Open Office was there but hey some people cant manage files well.

There's probably more but I need a coke and a smile.

Follow Up Story (5, Funny)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864237)

We need a follow-up story, "How Google decides whether or not to label something Beta". I'm guessing it involves dart boards, hookers, and cocaine.

Re:Follow Up Story (5, Funny)

c1t1z3nk41n3 (1112059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864403)

In fact, forget the dart boards!

Re:Follow Up Story (5, Funny)

peater (1422239) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865061)

I'm impotent and cocaine intolerant you selfish insensitive clod!

Re:Follow Up Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26867297)

>>I'm impotent and cocaine intolerant you selfish insensitive clod!

How in gods name did you get to be modded informative for that?

Re:Follow Up Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26867497)

By people that is not cocaine intolerant

Re:Follow Up Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26870253)

I'm impotent and cocaine intolerant you selfish insensitive clod!

I'm pretty sure you forgot to check the 'Post anonymously' checkbox...
Or are you trying to stave of allegations of drugs-use by confessing to something embarrassing? ;)

Re:Follow Up Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26870275)

There is a 'Post anonymously' checkbox? Where did you say the hookers were?

Re:Follow Up Story (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26867555)

and the cocaine!

Re:Follow Up Story (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26867549)

Your story is three sentences long:

Anything with evolving features is marked "beta" for the free version. The premier version (paid for) gets the stable features and no "beta" tag. Services with stable, well-tested feature sets don't get a "beta" tag, either.

Hope that cleared it up for you.

If Microsoft doesn't imitate it, then its bunk (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864267)

Converse affirmative monkey business

They killed Google Calculator!!! (-1, Troll)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864347)

Now when I need confirmation that 2+2=4, Google isn't there to help. What a letdown.

Re:They killed Google Calculator!!! (2, Funny)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864381)

Now when I need confirmation that 2+2=4, Google isn't there to help. What a letdown.

Wrong! Google is always there to help! [google.com]

How Apple Decides To Cancel A Project (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26864375)

Usually the CEO contracts AIDS and resigns himself to a lesser public role in the company, then might mysteriously disappear like bin Laden.

15 min (1)

deanston (1252868) | more than 5 years ago | (#26864947)

I just thought Marissa Mayer gets to decide what flies or not.

At Microsoft, you would need another 20% time for project management to decide what resources to recruit, how to recruit them, schedule the recruitment, and create a matrix to determine whether their 20% time was paying off.

Google spends resources too much (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26865059)

With the current rate of spending natural resources, we'll need 6 planets as big as earth to make the consumers happy. If you are dissatistfied with this situation the only thing you can do is to slow down the circulation of money.

The economic "crisis" is the best thing that happened to mankind since linux. Google will have to follow sooner or later.

What about keeping us in the loop of new projects? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865367)

I had found out about grand central right at the time google bought it. That was quite some time ago. I would love to see if it is still alive, and "coming soon" or canceled, but google is absolutely horrible at letting people know the status of new projects. Look how long it took them to take dodgeball into something released. With no information in the meantime to interested users...

Re:What about keeping us in the loop of new projec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26865473)

Umm, it still exists [grandcentral.com] , and it has been in open beta for a long time.

Re:What about keeping us in the loop of new projec (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26878987)

Sadly, no, its not. YOu can give them your information, and they will contact you when it opens back up again. (I have been waiting over a year, with no emails from them). Or, they are only doing the beta in a few area codes, which would make sense, but don't bother telling anyone which ones.

Gosh, I'm glad they saved Stalkertude (0, Troll)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26865657)

Google, the world's largest non-evil corporation, has released Stalkertude [today.com] , which allows you to share your location in real time with your dearest friends from all your social networks and blogs, that guy your friend gave your LiveJournal username to when you were both drunk and anyone you've ever sent or received a message to or from on GMail. And your boss.

Stalkertude allows you to broadcast where you are at all times. It supports all current smartphones except that stupid iThing from Cupertino. If you're using Google Chrome, you can automatically share your location from your laptop too!

Stalkertude comes preinstalled on the Google Notepad netbook, a free Android-based mini-laptop to keep you connected wherever you go. The laptop maintains and archives a complete record of your life in text, video and audio form with the twelve built-in webcams and microphones dotted around the casing, plus samples of your DNA from the keys. The data is transmitted to the Google servers for your comfort and convenience and remains absolutely and entirely confidential between you and Google's marketing department. Tasteful and understated text ads are subliminally woven into the display pixels.

Privacy features are important to Stalkertude. You can trust us with your entire life record, even as we argue in court over Google StreetView that privacy doesn't exist in the modern world. Besides, better we have your complete dossier than Microsoft, right? And we'll only give it to the government if they, like, ask for it or something. That we've gathered so much data on you in the first place is in no way a danger to you. We promise we won't tell your husband, and that's what counts.

Re:Gosh, I'm glad they saved Stalkertude (1)

The Cydonian (603441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26868697)

Beautiful, just beautiful. You sir, win the internets for the day and are my new hero.

Re:Gosh, I'm glad they saved Stalkertude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880865)

On the other hand, with the death of privacy, the complete disconnect between "ideal" and "normal" people will be readily demonstrable, leading either to cathartic repeals of laws oppressively regulating a spurious "ideal" morality or a holocaust that makes what Hitler tried to do to German homosexuals seem positively mild. You're part of the choice!

Pseudocode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26865697)

if(investment > profit){cancel(newProject)}

Got enough pieces of flare? (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 5 years ago | (#26866935)

Guess you better have enough pieces of flare if you want to keep your anti matter rocket engine project alive.

Google Notebook lost my data (1)

amh99 (1476595) | more than 5 years ago | (#26871021)

Just so everyone knows, Google Notebook lost all my notebooks one day after it was end-of-lifed. See here: http://www.google-problems.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] I could live with this, but they don't answer my calls ...
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