Dear Google, Because I Love You, I Have to Hate You

Google, I love you. I do. I love my Blogger blog. I love my Gmail. I love my AdSense and the extra spending money it provides. I love your easy to use GUI. I love Google Drive and Picasa. I love that it’s all practically free. And what do I love most about you? I love my iGoogle.

But how do you repay me for all my love and adoration? You discontinue things that have become so integral to my life (which I gather is the point of all your products) that I basically go through drug withdrawal when they’re absent. Is this how you repay love? I think not.

Since the day you announced that you’d be discontinuing iGoogle (see below), I’ve been in denial. And heck, when you first made the announcement back in July 2012, November 2013 seemed oh-so far away. So I ignored the warning posted at the top and gleefully enjoyed my happy little widgets: my weather widget that alerts me (and thus the rest of Jacobs Agency) of impending “thundersnow” for the commute home; my FastCo, POPSOP, 99U, and Feedgrid RSS feeds that keep me smart, hip, and informed about the industry; my personal Gmail widget; my yummy Epicurious widget; the calendar and clock; heck, even my Hubble telescope image of the day and the current moon phase (because we all need some science in our day). And how about my three news apps that keep me up-to-date on what’s going on across the globe at all times!?

iGoogle is like the front page of a newspaper customized for me and only me. And every time I open my browser, I can know, at a glance, what I need to know. It works perfectly. Maybe it’s not pretty. Maybe it’s clunky, but it’s me, all me. It works really hard and so do I.

So, why the heck are you getting rid of it? Google, you have a long history of discontinuing products that work. I don’t get it. It goes against your corporate philosophy and vision. If clean design is your new corporate initiative, then make iGoogle cleaner. Why are you throwing the baby out with the bathwater? You turned it into a replica of apps sitting on a smart phone. If I wanted that, I could get my &^#@ on a smartphone. This is not a replacement for what iGoogle does.

I also read you’re going to push people to Google+ to replace iGoogle. Um, what? That’s like saying you’re going to replace your lemons with a red onion. iGoogle does things that neither of your “replacements” do. Getting rid of iGoogle is a lazy cop out. Step up to the plate. Make something amazing even better—don’t just get rid of it and do something else. That’s what an ADHD 11-year-old does. Not you. Have some tenacity. Have some commitment, some loyalty. That’s what good relationships require. And in this one, it’s definitely not me, it’s you. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

The new Google apps look just like my smartphone. Like we don’t have enough of that already.

Flora Caputo is a VP and the executive creative director at Jacobs Agency in Chicago. Flora has worked on a number of major CPG brands, including Quaker, Kraft, Kellogg’s, and Cadbury Schweppes.

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