Yahoo shut Delicious down. (Well, they sold it to a new owner who made a mess of it.) A bunch of Delicious users jumped ship and signed up for Pinboard which was a lot like Delicious only better, cleaner, faster. It costs $10 (once!) and now Maciej is making a nice living running this little service for his loyal users. He’s not rolling in VC dough, he doesn’t have a staff of hundreds, I’m guessing he grosses roughly $100,000 a year. But he runs a great service for a dedicated, smart community. Pinboard is a success.
Before Google Reader dominated the scene there were a lot of competing feed readers that were little one man shops. But then Google launched something really excellent, and free, and that was the end of the feed reader market.
Now Google is shutting down Google Reader. It doesn’t make them the hundreds of millions of dollars they measure products by. There’s a large, vocal community of distraught users who are looking for somewhere, anywhere to go. There’s a few products that might fill that niche. Commercial products, cost a few bucks, could pay for the living of a couple of developers. Google Reader shutting down may be the best thing that could happen for them. It could make them a success.