If we just take the official shutdown dates that have already occurred in 2019, a Google-branded product, feature, or service has died, on average, about every nine days.
Google’s strategy of having multiple teams throw things against the wall to see what sticks leads to lots and lots of products and services launching all the time, all with varying levels of quality, integration with other Google products, and varying lifetimes. It also leads to lots and lots of product cancellations.
The shutdowns are all from independent teams making independent decisions, with products, employees, and divisions shifting around as time goes by. The rationale behind each shutdown doesn’t really matter though—the problem is the cumulative effect of all these individual shutdowns on Google’s reputation and Google’s customers that, time and time again, have products taken away from them.
Every time Google shuts down a product, its reputation is harmed. A shutdown makes users feel betrayed, it makes trusting other Google services harder, and it makes it harder for Google to pitch new products to users. With so many shutdowns happening lately, I’ve got to wonder if Google users will start to seek similar services from companies that simply seem more stable.