Monday, 5 January 2009

Innovation crunch?

Slightly old (mid-December) news, but I've had deadlines/been on holidays: Google Shutters Its Science Data Service:
Google will shutter its highly-anticipated scientific data service in January without even officially launching the product, the company said in an e-mail to its beta testers.

Once nicknamed Palimpsests, but more recently going by the staid name, Google Research Datasets, the service was going to offer scientists a way to store the massive amounts of data generated in an increasing number of fields. About 30 datasets — mostly tests — had already been uploaded to the site.

The dream appears to have fallen prey to belt-tightening at Silicon Valley's most innovative company.

What do stories like this mean for innovation in 2009, as we lurch on in a state of financial panic/crisis? And as with layoffs at Flickr, there's possibly a salutary lesson for cultural heritage organisations investing resources with even the biggest companies - always make sure you've got backups and an exit strategy.

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