Knol Stories April 5, 2012

On the Google Investor Relations website, Google’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Page just published his “2012 Update from the CEO” to give an update on the state of the company since taking over as chief and “reorganizing the management team” around the company’s core products.

In the letter, Page talks a lot about one of his biggest efforts during the last year: Google+. While noting, “We have a long way to go,” he said the service now has 100 million active users and the company has implemented more than 120 Google+ integrations with services like search and Android.

Last April, I began by reorganizing the management team around our core products to improve responsibility and accountability across Google. I also kicked off a big clean-up. Google has so many opportunities that, unless we make some hard choices, we end up spreading ourselves too thin and don’t have the impact we want. So we have closed or combined over 30 products, including projects like Knol and Sidewiki. In addition, we gave many of our products, such as Google Search, a visual refresh, and they now have a cleaner, more consistent, and beautiful look.

Addressing concerns over changes made to privacy policies and search in recent months that have “generated a lot of interest,” Page explained the company’s incentive to “do the right thing”:

We have always wanted Google to be a company that is deserving of great love. But we recognize this is an ambitious goal because most large companies are not well-loved, or even seemingly set up with that in mind. We’re lucky to have a very direct relationship with our users, which creates a strong incentive for us to do the right thing… We have always believed that it’s possible to make money without being evil. In fact, healthy revenue is essential if we are to change the world through innovation, and hire (and retain) great people..

The full letter is below…

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Knol Stories November 23, 2011

Google Wave is no more.

Google already shut down Android developer forums, closed Labs, phased out Google Desktop, killed off questions and answer site Advark and gave up on a whole lot of other services. With that in mind, the latest batch of Google services heading to the technology graveyard will surprise hardly anyone.

The streamlining of the company continues as the search Goliath announced in a blog post yesterday that Knol, Wave, Bookmarks Lists, Friend Connect, Gears and Search Timeline are goners, too. They are also shutting down the RE<C project which aimed to lower the cost of renewable energy (RE<C is an acronym for “renewable energy” [RE] is cheaper than coal [C]”). This comes after Google’s green arm had poured over $850 million into various renewable energy projects.

Google’s CEO and co-founder Larry Page said his company would kill off  a number of smaller products in order to put “more wood behind fewer arrows”. The Jobs-ification of Google is supposed to allow the company to become more agile as it sets its sights on moon shots, ambitious projects which could metamorphose into the pillars of Google’s future growth.

Page took the reigns at Google on April 4, taking over from Eric Schmidt who was promoted  the company’s chairman. Head down past the break for the full list of discontinued products and their respective end-of-life dates, per Google’s post.

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