the shutdown wasn’t just a matter of company culture and bigger priorities, sources said. Google is also trying to better orient itself so that it stops getting into trouble with repeated missteps around compliance issues, particularly privacy.
That means every team needs to have people dedicated to dealing with these compliance and privacy issues — lawyers, policy experts, etc. Google didn’t even have a product manager or full-time engineer responsible for Reader when it was killed, so the company didn’t want to add in the additional infrastructure and staff, the sources said.

Another Reason Google Reader Died: Increased Concern About Privacy and Compliance – Liz Gannes – News – AllThingsD

So a tool that would sort of run itself without lots of supervision gets deep-sixed because it didn’t have a staff of lawyers to handle “compliance issues” and an audience of 100 million. Sounds like a niche waiting for an entrepreneur to me.

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