Google today launched Keep, an app that allows you to save things, clip stuff from the web, hoard notes and what not and put them all onto your Google Drive. Yup, you guessed it — it is an imitation to Evernote and many other such applications. It is a good thing that Google has decided to compete with the likes of Evernote — it validates their market.
It might actually be good, or even better than Evernote. But I still won’t use Keep. You know why? Google Reader.
I spent about seven years of my online life on that service. I sent feedback, used it to annotate information and they killed it like a butcher slaughters a chicken. No conversation — dead. The service that drives more traffic than Google+ was sacrificed because it didn’t meet some vague corporate goals; users — many of them life long — be damned.
Looking from that perspective, it is hard to trust Google to keep an app alive. What if I spend months using the app, and then Google decides it doesn’t meet some arbitrary objective? Evernote has my data and frankly, I’m glad to pay them to keep it because they are who they are. One of the reasons I use Evernote is because it is their only thing. (For now.) Evernote is focused on making the service better. And it keeps that focus every year.
Evernote is like Derek Jeter, playing shortstop and trying to win every day. Google? It is the digital Mr. Ripley.
Sorry Google, but you might not realize that you are acting like the company you wanted to replace: Microsoft. The Barons of Redmond used to float products into the market — smart displays and weird stuff — that companies like Samsung and LG would put out in the market, only to yank them later. In the end, I stopped believing in Microsoft and shifted my dollars and attention to other brands.
And by the way – how is this app strategic for you guys and Reader is not? A little clarity would certainly be appreciated.
How about a pledge? If you build it, we use it, and you use our personal data to make your other products better or your ad sales executives richer, then you will keep it around.