Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Wave is Dead; Long Live the Wave
After a year or so, Google has finally decided to stop development on Google Wave. Why? Wave was hotly anticipated, desired by multitudes, and bursting at the seams with features.
When it first hit the net, I begged, scouted my list of friends, and tried bribing anyone I knew for an invitation. Finally, about a month after it went to a public beta, I had one and logged on the first time. I was dazzled, swept off my feet, and my world was changed forever. Actually, no. I was confused, frustrated, and disappointed.
After a couple of months of trying to love Wave and diligently working with my one colleague who also had it, we simply couldn’t find a use for it that wasn’t served at least as well, if not better by existing tools. On top of that, to even try and explain the basic notion to ordinary users was daunting. Wave was a product killed by its complexity, unbridled flexibility, and poor introduction.
There are lessons here. No matter how cutting edge your system is—CRM, collaboration, or anything—if it isn’t easily delivered to your users, it may very well fail. Just because the developers love it, doesn’t mean the customer will as well. Google, to their credit, figured this out and are cutting their losses. I hope they will incorporate the good pieces in other products and make their future offerings better and more easily adopted.
- ▼ 2010 (48)