It seems that every time I become accustomed to a product from Google, they take it away.
First it was iGoogle. I started using iGoogle after first using MyYahoo. I loved the interface, I was able to add and remove things that I did or did not want. I used the chat extensively. But then iGoogle was discontinued. There was a small cry to save iGoogle but it eventually disappeared
Then came Google Wave. I LOVED this product and was convinced that this was the future of Google. On the first day that it was out, my friends and I used it extensively. Over time, not so much. Still I was very sad to hear it when Google announced that they were discontinuing support for wave. I still think that it had great potential and all that is gone.
Now we come to the passing of #GoogleReader
. My favorite (other than wave) of the Google products. I had invested so much time getting web pages with RSS feeds into reader and I used reader every day, first thing in the morning. I am angry that this has gone. I was given no reason for its discontinuation. sure I have another app that is replacing Google Reader but it isn't Google Reader.
This has caused me to think about investing any time or effort into any more Google products. I am a big fan of G+. I use it all the time, I have created communities and have a great group of people that I talk to daily that I wouldn't have if I was using any other social network. I now wake up each morning expecting an announcement that Google will be terminating G+. Once again, not giving a reason. Once again, doing away with all that I have invested into the product.
Its the same with Google's new augmented reality game Ingress. Excellent game! I have put in a lot of time, gas, effort into this game since its launch in December. Again, I can't help but to think, when will Google decide to pull the plug on Ingress and what will the reason for pulling the plug be?
I'm getting kind of gun shy of you Google. If you stay on the course of action, I will no longer back your products or services. What is the point of it when you will just discontinue it for no good reason?
All that I ask is that before choosing to discontinue a product. Look at more than numbers on a spreadsheet or database. Try actually reaching out to your users and get their honest opinion. It may surprise you to know just how many people love your product and will do what it takes to keep using them. Do a hangout, Post to your G+ communities, anything! Just don't cut something without seeking the opinions of others. We are your customers, why are you ignoring us?
My .02 for anyone that will listen.