Wave Goodbye

Google has stabilized Wave. The occasional miss should not be a surprise in a company with a freewheeling, beta-oriented culture. There is something to be said for the argument that Wave was poorly communicated. If you have a new product and can't describe what it is in a paragraph of text, you have a problem. Who is it for? What do you do with it? How does this make your life better?

My theory is that Wave failed because of its invitation strategy. Wave is a communications platform. If you can't use it to communicate with anyone, it's useless. In school, we frequently form fast ad-hoc groups for projects and problem sets. Wave would have been perfect perfect for this since email is too unstructured and Google Groups is too heavyweight. I tried early on to sell a few of my teams on Wave, but quickly gave up when we ran into invitation/registration problems. When you only have a week to get your team moving, tool overhead is something you can't afford.

Google's Buzz has been maligned for lacking any meaningful functionality, but it did the right thing in becoming available for everyone, everywhere, immediately. I appreciate Google's caution in wanting to ramp Wave in a controlled fashion, but a slow rollout can be death for a social product.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that "invitations" were very unproductive, the same is with the Google Doc, unless you have gmail account you cannot access shared files.