Via @Charlesarthur, a twitter thread from @nickbaum, one time project manager of Google Reader:
I realized this weekend that it’s my fault that @Google shut down Google Reader. /1
I was the PM from 06-07. We launched a major redesign that significantly changed our growth rate… but didn’t take us to “Google scale”. /2
I used to think it was unfair and short-sighted that Google didn’t give us enough resources to execute to our full potential. /3
… but as a founder, I know resources aren’t something you are owed or deserve. They’re something you earn. /4
I should have realized that not reaching ~100m actives was an existential threat, and worked to convince the team to focus 100% on that. /5
As a service, Google Reader allowed users to curate their own long form content stream by subscribing to web feeds (RSS, Atom). When it shut down, I moved my subscriptions over to feedly.com, where I still read them every day.
If, as the thread above suggests, Google isn’t interested in “free”, “public” services with less than 100m – 100 million – active users, it means that “useful for some”, even if that “some” counts in the tens of millions, just won’t cut it.
Such are the economics of scale, I guess…
100. million. active. users.