Why Google Wins With Answers Move

Yahoo! Answers is celebrating the shutdown of Google Answers claiming victory.

Personally I like the fact that Google is brave enough to make this move. Looks like they read (and understood) the Peanut butter manifesto;)

And while lots of blogs are asking which Google product should be killed next, no one is doing the same for Yahoo!.

Keeping a product alive even without active development ties up resources. Getting rid of unsuccessful products or products that are not in line with the strategy makes these resources available for other projects and products.

Yahoo! announced a reorg yesterday that will lead to the sun-setting of some products and the reassignment of resources. Which products is not clear yet or at least hasn’t been communicated.

The great Seth nails it:

Ignore people like me who scream and yell about how much they love it and how much potential there is. Just kill it. That’s what fashion companies do.

This also applies to changes made to products. I’m not saying ignore the user. But a certain percentage of users will always complain because they refuse change. The grant vision for a product can be too big for some users to understand. Yahoo! TV‘s relaunch received a ton of negative feedback from existing users. But what if the audience doubles in the next 6 months? Some existing users will move on while new users will like the new format. Were the changes still wrong? I trust the product team and am convinced that they’ve put a lot of thought into the changes. Let’s check the user numbers again in a few months and see who was right…

Update 28/12/06: Greg Linden agrees:

Old products never die, but they should. To innovate, it is not enough to love creation. We must also love destruction.