Google’s start-stop-start on a note product

Google unveiled its Evernote knock-off Keep just days after announcing it would be killing off Reader. Steve Hoefer summed up the problem with this perfectly: “The marketing messages learned from Google this week: Don’t kill a beloved product just before unveiling a new one. Once bitten…

So far I don’t really get Keep because Evernote so out muscles it. But the strangest thing about this new release is Google was already on the path to a note collection product more than two years before Evernote via Google Notebook. Notebook became available in May 2006, while Evernote’s web service released open beta in June 2008.

But, like many other Google products, Notebook now requires a Wikipedia search for many to know what it was. In early 2009, Google said they’d stop developing, in 2011 announced it would discontinue, and July of 2012 dumped everything into Docs and officially closed the doors on Notebook. I jumped ship to Evernote in 2009 after Google revealed Notebook was capsizing. Now that I (andmillions of others) have years of data in there and Evernote has had years to evolve to its users needs, Keep’s got an uphill battle.

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