google graveyard realtoughcandy

Google Graveyard: Visiting a resting place for 100s of lost software projects

Step inside the tombed entrance of Killed by Google and you’re immediately met with obituaries of the recently deceased:

Chromecast Audio.

Google Allo.

Google News and Weather.

Small tombstones even preemptively welcome projects scheduled for disassembly:

Google Fusion Tables.



By the time you read this, those set to enter the Google graveyard may already have been buried.

Google Graveyard Fusion Tables realtoughcandy
GIF of Google Fusion tables. Its crime? Google found something better for its customers to use. Off to the Google graveyard.

Welcome to the Google graveyard, where the groundskeeper has organized dead projects by date, going all the way back to the first one put on the chopping block, Google Deskbar.

The project count here will eventually number in the hundreds, if not thousands. It’s a stark reminder that as consumers, we usually only see the successful parts of tech companies, the YouTubes or AWSes of the world.

But the reality is that most businesses fail, and even the ones that do make it usually have a robust list of ideas and projects that just never made it past the incubation phase. Or they did make it for a bit, but something happened: The audience became fickle, company strategy changed, or some other force determined that the project was no longer viable in its current state.

Software developers – and web developers in particular – understand how quickly the tech landscape evolves.

Our tools and peoples’ demands are continuously changing, requiring us not only to keep up with the trends, but to adapt.

But while we’re acutely aware of this reality, it doesn’t make the prospect of our hard work being halted and forgotten any easier. I can’t speak for other developers, but if I worked on a project for a year or two or more, only to be sent to the Google graveyard after five months like Google Hotpot was, I’d be disappointed, discouraged, and maybe even depressed. Does anybody really enjoy the prospect of putting one’s mind and energy into a project only to have your boss tell you it’s no good? Who cares the reason.

Whether it’s “Nobody likes it” or “The company is changing directions,” sending one’s project to the glue factory isn’t an easy pill to swallow.

The Google graveyard on is definitely worth the visit no matter if you’re an historian, developer, or just a curiosity-minded consumer. It’s a sobering reminder that companies — even the best and brightest — have a lot of failures under their belt, exposing the underside of the digital iceberg for all to see.

Up next: Here’s the fastest way to get a web developer job

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