Trouble for Keep?
I'm a sucker for new tech, so when I read the announcement that Google had released a new product called Keep, I immediately checked it out. Keep is essentially sticky notes on mild steroids -- a place to aggregate the thoughts and tasks that pop up during the day. I liked it and could definitely see myself using it, except for the fact that it only works on Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0) devices and newer, and I still have an EVO 4G running Gingerbread (v2.3).
While the target for this product is obvious -- Evernote, the current king of online note-taking -- and the potential for this product is enormous, a potential problem for Keep is Google Reader. Last spring Google started clearing house on some products that weren't meeting their internal goals and shuttered them in order to direct their resources towards products they thought had better potential futures. In the most recent cleaning, Google Reader saw the axe.
While Google Reader users weren't an vast number, those users did represent some of Google's most voracious users, the people who were early adopters of Gmail and Android, and exactly the people you need using your product and providing feedback. If those users feel like they can't trust you to keep alive the products they use, then they're going to question why they're using your products at all.
That is a serious problem, because while those users may only represent 10% of your userbase, it's the part of your userbase the other 90% consult before adoption.
Perhaps Google knows all this and doesn't care, assuming enough people will start using Keep, or perhaps they underestimated the impact killing Reader would have. Either way, it could spell trouble for Keep.