How Much is a Million?

How much is a million? Really, how much?

Apparently, not much. Just ask Google. In August of this year, Google ceased development of their much-hyped Google Wave (a real-time collaboration tool). They gave it a year and reportedly had one million users, but citing a lack of interest, they pulled the plug. Apparently, one million users is not enough.

Although I was encouraged by many people to check out Google Wave, I never did. And given this news, I’m glad I didn’t invest the time. Incidentally, this also gives me pause about depending too much on Google Voice. I must wonder it they might similarly give up on it and leave their users hanging?

Today, I received notice that Xmarks was pulling the plug on their service as well. Xmarks synchronizes web browser favorites and logins between multiple computers and the top browsers. They claim two million users. Their problem was that it was a free service and they were unsuccessful in figuring out how to pay the bills. Their initial goal was to monetize the data they collected, aggregating user bookmarks to make the basis for a pure, spam-free search engine. But when they couldn’t make that work and couldn’t sell the company, they decided to shut the doors. So as of January 10, 2011, Xmarks will bite the dust.

Although synchronization tools exist for each of the major browsers, none of them will sync with their competition. I, for one will greatly miss Xmarks; I am willing pay an annual fee for this service, but that will not be an option.

Apparently, two million users is not enough.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!