This “killing off” of Google Reader and Chrome RSS AddOn is pretty blatantly an attempt to drive people to use Google+ for everything.
It makes sense. Honestly I haven’t used RSS for years, and was surprised so many people still do. I suspect most people get their news and information “feeds” through Twitter and/or Facebook at this point anyway. And unless G+ can compete with those services, it is not likely to survive.
One person is the Decider for final design choices. Not focus groups. Not data crunchers. Not committee consensus-builders. The decisions reflect the sensibility of just one person: Steven P. Jobs, the C.E.O.
By contrast, Google has followed the conventional approach, with lots of people playing a role. That group prefers to rely on experimental data, not designers, to guide its decisions.
The contest is not even close. The company that has a single arbiter of taste has been producing superior products, showing that you don’t need multiple teams and dozens or hundreds or thousands of voices.