Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

Summary: Google CEO Larry Page said he wanted more wood behind fewer arrows and he wasn't kidding. Google will shut down Google Labs in the strongest signal yet that the company is focusing on fewer projects designed to create the biggest financial benefits.

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TOPICS: Google, Banking
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Google CEO Larry Page said he wanted more wood behind fewer arrows and he wasn't kidding. Google will shut down Google Labs in the strongest signal yet that the company is focusing on fewer projects designed to create the biggest financial benefits.

In a blog post, Google said that it was prioritizing projects and winding down Google Labs. The company said:

While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.

Although Google Labs had a few interesting projects---Google Body, Google Groups, Google Maps and Google Reader---the move may make business sense. However, there was a vibe that you could do almost anything at Google. More focus appears to mean that play time is over.

Page acknowledged Google's need to focus last week after a strong second quarter. He said:

Overall, we are focused on long-term, absolute profit and growth, as we have always been. And I will continue the tight financial management we have had in the last two years, even as we are making significant investments in our future...It’s easy to focus on things that we do that are speculative, e.g., driverless cars. But we spend the vast majority of our resources on the core products. We may have a few small speculative projects happening at any given time, but we are very careful stewards of shareholder money. We are not betting the farm on this stuff.

Related: Google's Page delivers solid performance; Balances new products, discipline

Topics: Google, Banking

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  • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

    My only concern about winding down Google Labs is that the wonderful Google creativity will be stifled.
    KSFaulk
    • There's a difference between creativity and just

      throwing darts in the dark. If you want to compare creativity, lets look at Bell Labs vs. Google Labs.
      fr_gough
      • 1

        @fr_gough
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

        @fr_gough
        +1.
        Page might have realized why waste money and time, when all they doing was copying others. They don't have to be innovative in copying. :D
        Ram U
      • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

        @fr_gough
        A very good and informative article indeed . It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views.
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        giacomo Al
      • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

        @fr_gough Spot on view <a href="http://www.uk-djs.net">Booking agency</a> <a href="http://www.gigsource.co.uk">Entertainers</a>
        mrswilliamson
    • Makes you wonder how soon Google Plus will get the axe

      ... along the way. Got one G+ account and threw 10 minutes my attention at it and done, and that's my history with it. I'm sure Google counts me as a happy user nonetheless to prove how successful their social effort is.
      LBiege
    • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

      @MC3KFaulk

      It's not just Google Labs. A friend of mine who works at Google was very bitter last night because they also axed 20% time. (For those who are curious, GMail grew out of a 20% time project.)

      That sound was the sound of FaceBook's mail-servers crashing under the weight of all the Google Employee's resumes.
      eak2000
  • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

    Time to kill ChromeOS too. What a money pit that must be.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

      @Cylon Centurion
      I agree, you can't find sales numbers anywhere for the Chromebook and somehow I think Google paid $ to Amazon to be moved to top of the top sellers list...
      Hasam1991
      • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

        @Hasam1991

        The OS is pretty much DOA. Simply put, no one needs a cloud OS and no one is interested in using a cloud OS.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

        @Cylon Centurion
        Actually I tested the OS in a virtualbox, and it is in fact pretty weak. I don't know why Google wasted resources in building it, when they have much polished system, Android, on hand. They could have gotten out with Android doing the same and also supporting native apps. I see redundancy there by having Chrome OS. Settle the litigations that are cropping up with Android and regulate the User Experience and clear all the issues including lack of governance and be done with it.
        Ram U
  • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

    All those Google employees must be upset as this will severely cut into their free time and now they have to do real work for the company instead of personal projects.
    LoverockDavidson
  • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

    The company faces a unique tension. Just because it can do everything doesn't meant that it should
    phil_simon
    • That the problem - it can't do everything

      @philsimonsystems
      as much as they think they can, there comes a point where you have to say it's not worth the investor's money trying.
      William Pharaoh
  • Good move.

    Google always being in Beta and never finishing anything always me worried on my stock. The company always seemed like a child with ADHD.
    Bruizer
    • Businesses don't like &quot;beta&quot;

      @Bruizer
      Google's "beta is good enough" attitude doesn't sit well with most businesses, and I think discontinuing Google Labs is an acknowledgment of that: they need to do fewer things and do them well, than do a bazillion things poorly just to see if they catch on.

      Investors and commercial customers should react well to this news.
      jscott69
      • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

        @jscott69

        Valid point. Everytime i see the Beta tag, i wince a little bit.
        However, a lot of the Google Beta stuff is far more troubl free and fixed than some of the other release versions of products out there (e.g. Windows Vista) . Would prefer a longer beta period than a faulty product
        imranpanji
  • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

    Didn't Microsoft get criticised when they announced something similar recently?

    Just sayin' :p
    OffsideInVancouver
    • RE: Google gets serious: Winds down Google Labs

      @OffsideInVancouver
      +1
      Ram U