Thoughts About Google Wave Getting Shut Down

Everybody now knows (well those who heard about it or were using it) that Google Wave would stop being a product from Google by the end of the year. People started asking Why didn’t Google Wave boot up? to Google Wave and Network Effects, or Users say Google Wave was let down by poor launch and lack of integration

In order to fully understand the reasons of Google Wave getting relegated to the “dead pool” you have to check what has happened and what is going to happen.

What has Happened ?

As a Product , Google Wave was very disruptive and revolutionary. Contrary to some saying that Google didn’t promote Wave , Google actually heavily promoted Wave, it was the core keynote of Google I/O 2009, it was heavily sold to some of the big companies SAP,  Novell… Many other Big Companies started to design products that will compete with it. The only problem that I could see as a cause of Wave not seeing the user adoption Google would have liked is : The Invite Only Model that was used on a Communication Tool that have no integration with other systems.

Now before you go onto conclusions, I’m NOT saying the Invite Only Model is a bad model, but it’s a bad model for a new Product that is a Communication Tool at its Core and has no interaction with any other major communication tool. Some Communication Tools are useful if only and only I can use it without problems with everybody. Dare Obasanjo was exactly right about “having SMS on my cell phone is only useful if I have friends who can send & receive text messages”. Gmail was also Invite Only at the beginning, but contrarily to Google Wave, with Gmail, you can send emails to those who don’t have access to the product.

Now, one thing to also notice is that when Google develops a product, they don’t just develop a product , they also develop disruptive technology behind it that pushes further computer science in general. Google Wave was one of those products, as a product it was disruptive, and on the back end technology that was powering it, it was also disruptive. So if the product fails to conquer massive user adoption, the disruptive technology could be used elsewhere in another product. So here is one lesson, when developing disruptive products that could be successful as well as fail, it’s always a good idea to develop it using disruptive technology engineered in a disruptive way, so that if the initial product fails , the technology could be applied elsewhere.

Now before we move onto “what is going to happen” relations with Google Wave getting shut down, notice that there are several Google products that are not as good/successful as Google Wave but they are not getting shutdown.

What’s going to Happen ?

Facebook now has 500 Millions and counting Friends. And That is not making Google Happy. Unless you were living under a rock in a cave deep under the Siberian Ice, you should probably know by now that Google is building a rumored “Google Me” to compete with the ever growing Facebook. And Google is taking that seriously by going on a shopping spree here and here , carefully choosing who will lead that awesome project and now since you’ve guessed it, they will also need RESOURCES!!!

If you are going to develop a “new Facebook” today, it has to be totally different, so awesome that the “current Facebook” will feel like MySpace when Facebook just started. Now :

- remember the distributed, awesome UI, real time, fast, next generation technology…that was behind Google Wave,

- imagine the engineers behind those technologies,

- imagine Google Wave not getting the user adoption it needs,

- and imagine the Giant Google very serious about stopping the ever growing Facebook…

Yep you have finally guessed it, Now it’s the time to shutdown Google Wave, go on a shopping spree, take all those awesome technologies behind Wave, the engineers using them, put all of them together led by an awesome leader, add a bit of “Google Salt” ….. and you might get a “Facebook Killer”!!! well, that is what Google is hoping for :)

So in summary , the main two things that led to Google Wave getting shutdown are the invite-only model on a communication tool that could not be used if your friends are not also using it and Google building “Google Me”.

Google Wave was actually a success if you look at the way it changed people’s mind when thinking about communication and collaboration tools these days. That would in turn bring us new innovative products from third parties or the competition because the new standard in communication tool would be Google Wave.

If you love Google Wave, and saddened by its death by the end of the year , you can continue using it through Novell Pulse, yep Novell said it will continue to provide full support to its version of Google Wave.

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~ by Salimane Adjao Moustapha on August 11, 2010.

5 Responses to “Thoughts About Google Wave Getting Shut Down”

  1. not very user friendly for us none geek users.

  2. Good comment! What I don’t get is why they didn’t integrate Wave into Gmail or Docs, that would have solved the chicken-and-egg problem and made it super useful. Instead they launched the stupid twitter copy and now rumored to build a FB “copy” … amazing how quickly Google became the new Microsoft.

    • They probably thought that Google Wave would kill Gmail. Google is still trying to find its way into the social but until now, they have been failing. And yes!, you’re right, Google is starting to act more and more like Microsoft, may be it’s related to Silicon Valley, when you get older and bigger in Silicon Valley, you will start acting strange, heavy and ultimately get beaten by a younger start up.

  3. Salimane,
    Wave is not dead, it’s alive and well at http://wavelook.com

    We’ve just released our Wave client for Microsoft Outlook that has a unified inbox (emails and waves in the same inbox)

    We are working on a Wave webapp that will let you sign into any wave server (sign up for beta waiting list at http://wavelook.com)

    And we are working on a Wave server that will run in the cloud or you can deploy locally so that you can migrate your data from Google Wave (sign up for beta waiting list at http://wavelook.com)

    So if you like Wave, you can still keep using it. It’s not going anywhere.

    wave or email us for details: info@wavelook.com

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