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From a business perspective, Google's way to work with products makes totally sense, as you described. But - and that's that problem I have with Google - from a user perspective, their way to work is unprofessional. Why did this become an internet meme? Because all the projects they launch are launched with a lot of loud tam tam, they advertise them and for new users it clearly feels like this new product is here to stay - only to find out two years later that the product will be cut off. People start to use this new fancy app which is marketed to be the "next big thing". And then later some product manager thinks that it may be not worth to continue working on it.

IMO if Google really wants to try out new things, they should make these things invite-only to find out if they are working and how users interact with it, or clearly mark them as 'beta' or something like that. Google has a huge fan base and the internet is full of people excited to try out new things. But if users clearly see "hey, this is kind of a beta product, I am just testing this out" there would be way less disappointment if the product shuts down after a while.

Gmail was famously in beta for many years, long after it became an extremely important service.

I think Gmail is a good example for how it should be done, one of the few, if not the only good example.

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