Google Wields the Startup Axe of Death

In a sadly predictable turn of events Google has binned Jaiku, a service they bought just over a year ago for a huge chunk of change ($12 million). Dodgeball too, has eventually suffered the cruel fate that has been looming over it ever since Google bought them back in 2005. Apparently it’s part of a Google cost cutting and re-focusing exercise, but I can’t for the life of me understand why they went ahead and bought duplicate services in the first place and then didn’t build out on those products.

I’m worried its becoming quite the modus operandi for Google to buy out small exciting startups, starve them of resources and then discard them when they fail to bring in any real revenue. Not cool, Google. In fact, it’s rather evil. In future this should surely make any startup think twice before flipping their passion to Google for a sum of cash.

Why do I care? Well, apparently I told you so.

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3 Comments

  1. Google isn’t the only one that does that. Yahoo bought Webring, and killed it.

    And Google seem to be on the way to killing off Orkut, their social network — it’s disappeared from their main menus. They also nearly killed Blogger a couple of years ago by adding bells and whistles and drastically reducing functionality. They’ve restored it now, but it was touch and go for a while, and there was a massive migration to WordPress.

  2. Most Googlers like portraying Microsoft as evil. I think Google, too, is evil. Why do they buy these exciting startups and annihilate them like this? Looks like it is part of their plan to stifle competition.

    1. Steve and Clement you both raise good points. I think the most important question here is “Could these startups have become profit-generating enterprises if they were not assimilated by the larger web entities?”
      I suspect they probably would have, and that’s where the problem really lies. As you said Clement, they’re destroying the competition.

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