Google Puts Lid on New Products from the Los Angeles Times is great news from Google -- Sergey Brin leading an attitude change of "features, not products" to get Googlers to improve what they already have rather than push out new stuff. From the story:
He said the campaign started this summer when Google executives realized that myriad product releases were confusing their users.
"It's worse than that," said Brin, Google's president of technology. "It's that I was getting lost in the sheer volume of the products that we were releasing."
Pretty honest -- and even more so was this:
Google admitted this year that its internal audits discovered that the company had been spending too much time on new services to the detriment of its core search engine.
Like I said, good news. It's what I was hoping for when I did my 25 Things I Hate About Google post earlier this year. From the opening to that:
Google's purchase of Writely sort of drove me over the edge last week. When I saw the news confirmed, I exclaimed out loud to myself, "Oh, give me a break." A break from what, freakishly talking to myself? No, a break from Google going in yet another direction when there is so much stuff they haven't finished, gotten right or need to fix.
Honestly, if Google wants to be as "ubiquitous as brushing your teeth" (see here from October and here earlier this month), then they need to make sure the Google toothpaste tastes good or that you can squeeze it out of the Google toothpaste tube (beta) without it getting all clogged up.
I normally loathe Google-specific articles, because the constant "Google, Google, Google" obsession of such articles continue to put the Marcia Brady of search in the spotlight when the Jans of the world deserve greater attention. They also tend to credit Google too much or blaming it for problems that others have, as well.
Despite that loathing, I'm making a personal exception this time. Perhaps a little Google fixation will be just the cathartic experience I need to cleanse my jaded search soul. Consider this an open letter to a company I've been writing about since before it was formally a company, a to do list of things it would be nice to have completed, a hope for an operational pause in the land grab it has embarked upon.
Of course, Google's had a flurry of activity over the past two weeks. How's that mesh with the entire improve features versus to do products mantra. Scanning our headlines, actually pretty well. Here's what's completely new:
- Google Code Search Live, Offers Code Searching For Programmers
- The Google Literacy Project
- Google's New SearchMash Test Site
Here's what's been improved:
- Google Blog Search Adds Ping Support
- Google Groups Beta 2006 Gets Mixed Reviews
- Google Base Store Connector
- Google Reader & Ask's Bloglines Undergo Updates
- Picasa Web Albums: Google Goes Flickr
- How Google Webmaster Creates Query Stats, Now Weekly Updates
- Google Talk Opens To Everyone
So far, improved is well beating new stuff -- and that's just looking at items we actually blogged about.