Google’s latest Facebook mutineer – Lars Rasmussen – recently quit the world’s largest ad broker in part because of the challenges associated with working for such a large company. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Rasmussen said the demise of his pet project, Google Wave, had been far too speedy. “We were not …
As an Italian mum would say...
"Si non sopporta il calore, vattene dalla cucina."
Nobody will miss him.
Translation: If you cannot stand the heat get out of the kitchen.
I agree that Wave was binned to early but I don't think it would ever succeed without a different direction. There were a number of flaws
1) It was announced and everyone thought wow - media were all over it but no-one could access it as it was a restricted beta - for a long time. The hype was gone and everyone forgot what it was about.
2) You needed all your friends/colleagues to be on it but as it was a closed beta it wasn't easy to do. Also you would have to explain to the non-techies why they should access wave and use it when they already had e-mail
3) It seemed to be touted (by the media maybe) as a new form of e-mail but there was no integration with gmail to allow you to access your existing e-mails and waves from one place. It's a shame that it couldn't have been one product.
4) It was a very clever product but it did not have a real definition. What it was was a real time informal document sharing product. A bit like a very clever and advanced Wiki. That is how it should have been promoted and it should have been integrated with g-mail and google docs - the missing link as it were. If people had seen it for that then it could have been an amazing product, hopefully it will be resurrected in gmail or docs in the future.
Flaw #1: no compelling purpose
Daf L wrote:
"It was announced and everyone thought wow - media were all over it but no-one could access it as it was a restricted beta"
I had an invitation, as did many people I know. Almost none of us ever used it for anything other than a quick check to see if the invitation worked. Of course, not all of us "thought wow", either; I only know a couple of people - among a large group of technically-savvy early adopters, many of them social-media scholars - who were excited by the announcement.
"you would have to explain to the non-techies why they should access wave and use it"
IME, you had to explain that to the "techies", too. I never heard one convincing justification for the tech, and I'm about as technical as they get: CS degree, almost 30 years in commercial software development (much of it in comms and distributed app infrastructure), and an academic specialty in digital rhetoric. Many of us techies aren't automatically impressed by eye candy and a "Google" label on the box.
"What it was was a real time informal document sharing product" - which put it into competition with all the other real-time collaboration applications, with no clear differentiator. What did Wave do that was actually *useful* and not already present in some form in Google Docs, whiteboarding software, etc? And how large an audience was there for those additional affordances?
"I had an invitation, as did many people I know. Almost none of us ever used it for anything other than a quick check to see if the invitation worked. "
As, I said - at launch - and if you had an invitation at launch (which I very much doubt) then you must have been a developer at Google IO in May 2009. If you were then you must also have been one of the few developers who weren't part of the standing ovation when it was demonstrated.
If, as i suspect, you got the invitation quite a while after when they opened it to non-attendees then that [roves my point about the momentum being lost.
If you also want to compare it to Google Docs and whiteboarding software then why did you even ask for an invitation. Had you not seen the demo and the work and plugins that became available for it?
It was a very clever product, maybe too clever and relied too much on "build it and they will come" mentality. I never saw a demo of Wave after the initial launch that really showed the power of it. It needed to be relaunched with some marketing when it was opened to everyone with so quality examples of how it could be used could be seen. And, as I stated it needed to integrate with G-mail and Docs and not be a separate app.