Google, Not So Much a Rainmaker

302869132_610ed22246.jpgIn the past 10 years, Google has gone beyond search and changed the world with products and services such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps. Although none of these bring in nearly the revenue of its search business, their proliferation into mainstream culture gives the general public the distinct impression that the Mountain Valley company has a golden touch.

As Silicon Alley Insider’s Vasanth Sridharan points out, however, this is not the case. He put together a Google, where are they now? list of the company’s 100 product launches and 50 acquisitions in the last decade, which clearly shows most are failures. This isn’t a surprise, as most start-ups fail, but it’s a good lesson that getting bought by Google won’t make you infinitely rich and even the best PR can’t hide the real truth.

The entire list can be seen in detail here and some of our favorite misses (along with SAI’s commentary) are after the jump.


Mars: Use Google Maps to see a map of Mars. Launched March 2006, active, but niche.

Dodgeball: Location-based mobile social network, acquired in May 2005. Founders quit Google in April 2007. Active — barely.

Base: A database of many things, ranging from reviews to products for sale. Launched in 2008. Another tool that helps Google index the entire Internet. Not killing Craigslist any time soon.

Click-to-Call: AdWords program that lets Web surfers call advertisers for free from within an AdWords ad, via the Internet. We’ve never heard of anyone using it — have you?