Whenever Google launches something new, there’s always a flurry of techosphere blog posts about it being a “-killer” product, meaning, it’s from Google and so therefore, it’s going to kill whatever else is in that category.
But longtime observers know, “The Google” starts and acquires lots of products (and products that were actually features) that never really catch on. Google products fail, in other words. All the time. But that’s okay. You’re not learning if you’re not failing.
Tonight, on The Official Google Blog (its main blog), the company announced it will “stop active development” on a product called Google Notebook. In software-eze, the phrase “stop active development” means “let it die.”
I don’t know why they announced it publicly on their blog. I thought they would just send me an e-mail, as I was under the impression that I was the only person who actually ever used Google Notebook. And I used it a lot. However, it was sort of confusing to figure out the difference between Google Notebook and Google Bookmarks and now some to-do stuff in Google Docs and Gmail.
However, for me, the real Google Notebook-killer had nothing to do with Google.
It’s a killer-of-an iPhone app/desktop software/web app product called EverNote.
During the holidays, I spent time getting familiar with EverNote and I never looked back at Google Notebook. It’s about as amazing as any software I’ve ever used. I’ve hesitated to blog about it because I’m still in the fan-boy stage of using it and can’t believe it can do some of the stuff it does — like allow me to do a key-word search on photos of whiteboard notes I’ve filed in it.
I’ve been planning on doing a screencast on why I love Evernote, so I’ll skip the reviews for now. All I wanted to say tonight is this: Even if you’re Google, when you see a competitor innovate at product like Evernote and then look at your lame-ass offering that even you can’t figure what it does, you’d be crazy not to wave the white flag.
Update: Google made similar announcements about several other products. There are lots of links related to them on Techmeme.
Update II: Google taketh away, Google giveth: Cool new transit overlay for 59 world cities. What, no NYC?