Google’s strategy has seemed to be spend a little money on each project, throw a small team together and, if it doesn’t take off, take a small write off.
The exception to this rule was the $600 million spent on Google+. IMHO, G+ was a strategic effort back in 2011 to put Facebook on the defensive so that Facebook couldn’t slow down Google’s ad revenue growth; and it worked, in 2010 ad revenue was $28 billion, by 2014 it had more than doubled. (Source)
Killing Google Reader never made sense to me. Google owned the RSS space and there was never anything that came before or since to manage blog reading and news feeds. Apple News Reader randomly inserted entertainment publications and Golf magazine articles into my newsfeed (payola anyone?) to the point that it became a game of anti-curation. Feedly was decent but it wasn’t the same.
If Google brought back Reader, it would dramatically change my internet experience for the better.
We can dream.