Google is one of the most ubiquitous names in the tech world, so everyone pays attention and many people secretly love it when one or more of the company’s efforts goes down in flames. How often does Google fail? Back in October, The Next Web set the ratio at a little more than one-third of the time.
On one hand, it’s hard to really feel bad for Google, who has a core search business so powerful and iconic that "Googling" has been in the vernacular for some time now. And of course there’s Android, Gmail, Maps, and YouTube – okay, that last one was an acquisition, but one that has thrived under Google’s ownership. Hey, someday it may even be profitable.
Even with products with less of a clear-cut win, Google consistently demonstrates innovation and long-term thinking. From Google X to Google+, there’s a commitment to putting the best minds together and developing ideas even when consumer and media eyes look elsewhere. And don’t call me biased just because I’m writing this in Docs using the Chrome browser while trying not to be distracted by my Droid 3....
Okay, enough with the objective praise. Now let’s look at how often, and how dismally, Google fails.
● Answers. There is no answer at this time, which is a shame. Unlike the automated or crowdsourced approach of AskJeeves, Answers.com, or Yahoo! Answers, the Google Answers service put quality researchers to work replying to specific questions (for a sometimes sizable fee). But why single out Google? MSN/ Windows Live QnA never even made it past beta.