Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

See? Google Won’t Spend Money On Everything.

Google has access to nearly limitless cash and resources. But not totally limitless: Occasionally the search giant decides to stop putting time and money into a project that once seemed promising.

Case in point: Google is killing off Google PowerMeter and Google Health, two services designed to let consumers track their power consumption and, um, health.

In a blog post announcing the moves, Google executives describe the services as “two products that didn’t catch on the way we would have hoped, but did serve as influential models.” Google Health launched into public beta in 2008, Google PowerMeter started in the fall of 2009.

Google went through a public pruning at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, and even laid a few dozen people off. But that was in the shadow of the post-Lehman economic meltdown.

Google business is back into go-go growth mode since then, so it’s hard to read much into this other than that these two must have really had very little traction indeed.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus