So, Google wanted to create floating "AMAZING PRODUCTS OF THE FUTARE!!" floating showrooms to delight and amaze the public with miraculous superproducts from Google's super top secret lab. Not unlike every grainy, black and white newsreel from the 1950s where the Voice of Authority(tm) narrator is telling us how delighted Margaret the housewife is to be cooking in a kitchen where EVERYTHING is MADE FROM GLASS! - Look, Margaret can't accidentally catch the curtains on fire, because they are made from ADVANCED GLASS FIBERS. TECHNOLOGY1!!1!
So Google bought two ore barges, hastily repainted them, welded a bunch of containers together to create the Impossibly Cool Showroom of Miraculous Future Super Cool products. .. and then...
The Nexus Orb ball-shaped thingy that you only now barely remember was a horrible flop. After much trumpeting about how they were assembled in 'MURRICA, the project was killed and presumably the remaining inventory was buried in New Mexico next to all the E.T. cartridges for the Atari 2600.
Google Glass - Does a day go by that you don't see a story about how yet another establishment, or entire national chain has proclaimed they are banning Google Glass - and the device isn't even available for sale to the general public? Terrible battery life, mediocre recording quality, limited feature set widely eclipsed by the smartphone you probably already own, and ENORMOUS public privacy problem stuck on your face.
Google Self-Driving Marketing Ploy: I think even average consumers innately feel that self-driving cars are decades away from practical use. A Kafka -esque labyrinth of local, state and federal regulations and vehicle laws must be untangled. And then, there's the part Google's marketing department ISN'T trumpeting - the LIDAR system barely works at all in rain or snow, rendering the vehicle absolutely worthless in at least 45 states. Other articles mention the vehicle doesn't know how to cope with loss of traction situations like snow, ice, oil or wet leaves that could cause catastrophic loss of control in moving traffic.
Nexus Smartphones: I've had them. Google makes no money on the hardware, selling rebranded devices with stock android on it with the hopes of gleaning valuable advertising data from you. Their sales numbers are reportedly very low. A rounding error to Samsung or Apple. Moving on.
So, at the end of the day, executives at Google realized their business model is still to violate your email and web traffic privacy to sell display ads to you, and perhaps they should sell their silly showroom barges at pennies on the dollar salvage prices and pretend it never happened.
The indicator that true creative thinking is dead inside an organization is when it must innovate by acquisition. Instead of YOUR employees creating products that grow organically, you pay 100 times as much to buy established or growing products. YouTube, Twitch.tv, Nest, and whoever is next.