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> but couldn't this be read with the opposite conclusion as well - that the average time that Google keeps marginal products alive is 4 years

Averages are misleading when the distribution is bi-or-multimodal.

So are you saying that it couldn't be read like that?

Think about how many Google products have lasted much longer than four year: Search, Maps, Gmail, Drive, AdWords, etc. This skews the average.

What would be more helpful is a median, or percentiles (eg 75% of Google products only last X years, 25% last Y months). I imagine that would be much more representative of Google’s fail-fast experimentations.

FTA: The average lifespan of a discontinued Google product is 4 years and 1 month.

"Living" products aren't skewing anything

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