R.I.P. Google Reader

Google leads by example in the art of breaking bad news.

We think the phrase we think could be used in every announcement to consumers: It allows a company to make a statement that can't be proven false. ("This makes our product better" could be wrong; "we think this makes our product better" is a matter of opinion.) That's helpful when you're breaking bad news. Google, which on July 1 officially closes down Google Reader, just might be the "we think" master:

October 20, 2011

"In the next week, we'll be making some highly requested changes to Google Reader. . . . As a result of these changes, we also think it's important to clean things up a bit. . . . We'll be retiring things like friending, following, and shared link blogs inside of Reader. We think the end result is better than what's available today."
--Alan Green, Google software engineer, on the Google Reader blog

March 13, 2013

"We will soon retire Google Reader. We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We're sad too. There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we're pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience."
--Green, on the Google Reader blog

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