Alphabet has been a confusing company from the jump, a mix of random product ideas from crazy moonshots to utilitarian smartphone appliances. Perhaps it’s simply time for said company to start demanding the kind of focus and fiscal responsibility that we historically haven’t seen a ton of with Google’s weirder projects.
But if you want to see it the other way, as a company that’s trying to do too many things and therefore flailing, that story is easy too. You don’t even have to try — all you have to do is just make a list of the things that have gone wrong or been killed in the past months. Google famously kills products and projects with little notice in so-called “Spring Cleanings,” and so it’s tempting to string together a narrative and assume it means something drastic is happening. It could just be that Google is gonna act like Google: trying weird things, leaving them behind when they don’t work.
But something definitely feels different this time. Look at this not-comprehensive, admittedly-not-including-the-good-stuff list. Because when you see everything that’s gone wrong for Google lately all strung together, it sure doesn’t feel like a spring cleaning.
It feels like a hot summer mess.