Google has created some of the best ideas and products in the world. Google is the number one search engine, Android is a major mobile OS and they even made a self-driving car. At the same time, not every Google idea has been a winner. There is a long list of really bad Google products that have been squashed through the years. Here are the five worst Google ideas of all time. One of them only lasted a single day before being pulled.
Google Print Ads
Google revolutionized the way that online advertising is done through their AdSense and AdWords service. If Google could pull off a miracle with online advertising, then shouldn’t it be easy to do the same with offline advertising? This service made it easy for people to make newspaper ads through Google.
Despite being a trusted company, there weren’t enough people interested in this service. Google started this in 2009 and closed its doors in 2009.
Ever hear of Second Life? It’s a virtual reality game where you make a character and put him or her in realistic situations. For example, talking with friends, going to a job and building a house.
There are many successful variants of these games, but Google’s Lively was not one of them. Lasting less than a year, Lively had very few features, felt crowded through its small interface and just wasn’t that interesting.
Online collaboration is very useful in the business environment, and Google wanted to capitalize on this market. While Google is currently doing rather well with online collaboration software, their first stab at it wasn’t successful at all.
The Google Wave platform was very crowded. There were about five menus or more stuck very close to each other that were constantly updating. One menu would show instant messages, another would have a list of friends and collaborators and so on. It was difficult to pay attention to the entire screen, and it became very dizzying to look at.
Google Wave lasted close to two years before being closed down. They built a simplified collaboration feature into Google Docs that is doing much better.
This is the most recent Google failure. The Nexus Q is a media hub for the living room that is spherical shaped, and it looks really nice. At the same time, there are far too many problems for this to succeed.
It’s priced at $299, which is a huge price tag for what it does. This media hub is only good at one thing: streaming music. It can’t stream video, and it’s difficult to control unless you have a device running Android 4.1. This is currently available on only one device, so that forces consumers to spend even more money for a music player.
This is a limited device that costs a fortune. No one was interested, and the Nexus Q will just fade with time.
This is perhaps the biggest flop in Google’s history. It was launched March 15, 2005, but then it was pulled the next day. Google X doesn’t seem like an awful idea, but everyone hated it.
Have you ever seen the Mac OS X interface that has the bar with all the apps on the bottom? Google created a similar dock on top of their search bar. There was an icon from Google Images, Google Videos and other similar services at the time. Just like with the OS X, hovering over the icon would make it slightly larger.
It’s hard to say why this failed so poorly, but no one liked it. After harsh criticism, Google just shut down the service as quickly as it was put up.