Google has decided to close Slide, a widget company known for “SuperPoke” or “SSP Ranch”, and Slide founder Max Levchin will leave Google to “pursue other opportunity”. Slide was a great success story, and it is clear that a $186M acquisition by Google is more than the large majority of startups would ever get. However, Google has decided that its time would be better spent on something else.
Although Slide had a lot of users, the business model was challenging to build. The company went from making money as an affiliate to shopping sites, to selling widgets, to sponsorships, to virtual goods. Some may see this as a failure, but others would call this a highly adaptive company. In other circumstances, Slide may have been able to continue, but Google can’t afford to disperse itself as Yahoo once did.
The good news is that Slide employees will stay at Google to work on other projects.