In case you missed it, the Google Wave was novel idea by Google to reinvent the wheel so to speak, the email wheel. They realized that email in it’s present form had been in it’s present form based of the old style of “in-office” memos since email began. The wave was supposed to be the next wave of improvement in email communication. So in early 2008, Google begged the question of …
What would email look like if it had been invented today? Maybe something like this…
Google went to work building out the API for The Wave and included some revolutionary new features that would transfer two-way communication in real time. Part conversation, part document, and all awesome. Shared chats that anyone can be a part of with a rewind feature to let you see who said what and when. Automatic spelling correction utilizing the bean method for 99% accuracy. These features and many more were sure to make the wave an instant hit right?
So why didn’t The Wave ever reach the shore?
It was a deadly combination of poor development, poor execution, and it being way ahead of it’s time.
Wait a sec…poorly developed? And Poorly Executed ? This is Google we’re talking about right?
Yeah believe it or not Google gets it wrong sometimes. While I’m sure they had the means to get it right, they just didn’t.
It was available to a limited number of users for a limited time, mostly to developers who wanted to help with the API included yours truly at MyNewITGuys. But it was so far different than all that had come before it, the people that used it rejected the new program and shortly thereafter the project was scrapped.
But hey, Google is allowed a screw up every now and again. While the wave has settled for the moment, there were a few lessons learned from this experience that all companies should understand and execute.
Keep it simple.
Companies that are creating products for new markets must sell the simplicity. If it’s a new version of something I already have, it better be miles easier than what I already use.
Also integration would have been a huge help. Had the wave been integrated into other services used on a daily basis, like Facebook, they could have come out of the gate running. But alas some things have a time and a place. I’ll be watching out for the Wave 2.0.
For better or for worse, the internet will always have Pulp Wave Fiction. Enjoy.