Khoi Vinh on how Google destroyed the market for standalone RSS products, then left the market for dead.
A lot has been written already about Google’s announcement that it will shutter its Google Reader product on 1 July. It’s a decision that has infuriated many, partly because when the company launched Google Reader in 2005, its free price tag undercut and then virtually destroyed the market for competitive products.
Soon enough, Google Reader had become a de facto industry standard, even as it became more and more apparent over the years that the company cared little for the market that it had come to own.
If you were in the market for an RSS client at any time in the past three or four years, you’d have been hard-pressed to find one that wasn’t based on Google Reader. So once it passes into the next world, Google Reader will leave in its wake few if any robust alternatives for consumers to choose from.
Not much different than how Walmart destroys retail stores in a city.