While the execution was debatable and the business model clearly flawed, Readability has made a contribution.
Regardless of Readability’s various flaws, Arc 90 has contributed something measurably new to the debate concerning content monetization. Perhaps the experiment failed, broached copyright, and any number of other touchy buzz-words, but the service unquestionably furthered the discussion. Dialectic discussion is the foundation of the Western socio-political environment, insofar as it allows for two ideas to compete in debate, and for compromise to be made. As long as this process continues, change and improvement can be facilitated.
If, at this juncture, the immediate question that comes to mind is “Why should it change whatsoever?” then the point has been utterly lost. Sustaining the status quo and conservatively decrying user-facing improvements facilitates an unhealthy environment — one that shall be inevitably trampled beneath an impending rush of feet.