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Google has a big problem with products

I’m always singing the praises of Google. I’ve spoken previously about their home devices and how I’ve kitted my whole home out in them. I use Chromebooks, have Chromecasts, and use a Google Pixel phone.

Some might call me a fanboy, however, I don’t think they get everything they do spot on. From a Marketing point of view I think they’ve got a terrible issue with their product marketing. To me, an outsider, it seems all over the place.

Google are so good at killing off products there are websites dedicated to dead ones.

They’ve become so well known for getting rid of their products prematurely that people have actually started creating cemeteries for them. My favorite is gcemetary.co, created by Naeem Nur.

The website is a good highlight of how many products Google have got rid of over the years (166 total), and you can use the data to see how they average out over the years.

Mr Jingles, the notification bell, was a Google product that got axed for no reason.

Personally, I’m still hurt from the removal of Mr Jingles. A great bell, taken away from us too soon. But all of these removals makes it incredibly frustrating for the users.

They are also terrible for doubling up on products

Now we’ve paid our respects to the fallen, let’s talk more about their products that double up. Mainly messaging, which seems to be a favorite of Google’s to develop around with Allo (RIP), messages, Duo, Hangouts, G Chat, and many more that are live, gone, or yet to be released.

This looks like a bizarre strategy from the outside looking in. What is the point of flooding the market with several products that do exactly the same thing? It causes no end of confusion for users and when they inevitably meet their maker, it causes anger because some of the time these are the main solution for people.

Their release tactics are bizarre too

This is something that has annoyede, and many other users for a while. Especially when it comes to Android testing because it takes so long to get things, sometimes if you live outside of the golden circle of San Fran you are lucky to even get to see any.

It can take Google years to follow through with the release of something. They’ll announce new things at Google I/O or at their other conferences (CES for example) but then not announce anything else in terms of release.

This is bad because you can’t ride of the excitement. If you release something you need to follow quicky to keep excitement going and this is what Apple do really well. If they announce a new thing, mainly software, they’ll release it immediately. Everywhere.

Apple Pay is an excellent example of where they had a good release schedule over Google Pay. I remember walking around Glasgow and seeing the Apple logo everywhere, but where was the competition? Stuck in their golden circle.

By the time they released in the UK, the market didn’t care and it had moved onto the next big thing. This is the case for most Google’s releases.

What would I do differently?

Better release schedule

I think one of the most important things for product releases is it’s schedule and I don’t feel Google has that right. I understand that the silicon valley crowd is fast moving but to announce a product with a coming soon message gives competitors the change to get out ahead of you.

Consolidation of products

One of Google’s biggest problem is the amount of products they have. I mentioned the messaging apps as one of my least favorite part of Google and it’s a good example of what I mean. I think they jump the gun sometimes and I would be too eager to run out a new product – Allo and Duo were big things and they could have been a singular product offering or additions to Hangouts.

Better management of products removal

The lifecycle of a Google product is very abrupt. It comes to life, more often than not out of the blue and goes out just as quickly. I feel Google should be able to handle this better – offering some alternatives and making it easier to move.