Slide founder Max Levchin, who also started PayPal, will be leaving Google. Slide Product Head Jared Fliesler is also departing Google – he is joining another former Slide colleague, Keith Rabois, at Square – the epayments startup from Twitter creater Jack Dorsey.
TechCrunch reported all but one of Slide’s products (Prizes.org) will be shuttered:
“This means both the Slide products before Google’s acquisition of the company a year ago, and the newer ones that the Slide team has been building within Google for the past year. Yes, it includes the newer products like Disco, Pool Party, Video Inbox, and the just-launched-last-week Photovine. They’re all dead.”
The rest of the Slide team will be folded into other Google products, YouTube predominantly.
That Google is going in a different direction is now obvious – as is the fact that CEO Larry Page isn’t adverse to killing of expensive investments if he thinks they aren’t right for Google. The insights the Slide founders and tech people brought to Google would have been invaluable, even though they went with in-house people to manage their social networking push.
Explaining that the services were mainly terminated because they didn’t catch on as they had hoped, the Slide site blogged that they “wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you that we’re committed to helping our users preserve their data as easily as possible. We recognize that many of you have stored valuable content with us and want to assure you that, wherever possible, you will have ample time to download that information or transfer it to another service.
For example, on Slide.com, we will enable users to either download their photos or export them to a Picasa account. We are working to release this export feature over the coming weeks and, once added, users will have several months to take advantage of transferring their photos.”
Google still owns the technology and any patents it may have generated and have the ability to incorporate them in to any new or updated services they see a good fit.
Right now the employees left at Google must be hoping they are a good fit at their new positions.