Economists will appreciate that anthropologists have noted that scarcity is one the reasons why old ladies sometimes transition from Nana, to crone, to shunned, to witch, and are then murdered. Food gets scarce and somebody’s got to go. I see that Google let go “about a 100” recruiters.
Those that live on the bottom lands, out on the long tail, suffer the most when the storms come or times get tough. Easier on the conscious if you label them as unworthy. Of course declaring them witches is a bit over the top. There are other moves. For example you can set them free. Sort of like how polygamist societies shun their young men due to a shortage of wives you can always donate your weaker products to the open source community (don’t forget the patents)
Some of those kids will thrive. Sometimes they get adopted by a stronger family. I wonder if the mashup editor team is getting folded into the Google App Engine team. But then I also wonder about the health of Google App Engine. I recently paged thru their example application catalog and it’s a lot thinner than I would have expected. There was almost nothing in there that I thought: “Yeah! I should blog this.” That is not good.