A hyper competitive space with dozens of choices? Reader made its first public appearance a couple of months before this, in October 2005. I remember this period well - it was a time of immense excitement, when RSS seemed to be the future, the news ecosystem was vibrant, and this thing called the blogosphere, fueled by peer subscription, was doubling in size every six months. It was into this magic garden that Google wandered, like a giant toddler leaving destruction in its wake. Reader was undeniably a good product, but it’s best quality was also its worst: it was free. Subsidized by Google’s immense search profits, it never had to earn its keep, and its competitors started to die. Over time, the “hyper competitive” RSS reader market turned into a monoculture. Today, on the eve of its shutdown, RSS more or less means “Google Reader” to a large fraction of readers, to the extent where even the best feed readers on IOS are just Google Reader clients.