It looks like google wave’s been sent to the knackers. It was an ambitious product trying to change the technology we use to collaborate. I’m sure we’ll see it come back in various products but as a standalone product it looks like it won’t be around any more. I remember when it first came out, the general consensus at least in the office I was working in, was; neat technology but what problems can it help me solve, is this really that much better than email? There’s been alot of casualties in the groupware space and I guess google wave is another victim in the war on collaboration. The current email communication hegemony seems like ripe pickings for disruption; technology stack from another era, massive implications and cost savings if you can make people more productive etc.
My startup knowtu operates in the enterprise collaboration and communication market which wave kind of did and the lessons I think I see are:
- Email still rules and will for the foreseeable future.
- Technology is important but by itself doesn’t solve problems.
- Good enough wins.
While I think wave had it’s issues, it’s disappointing to see it end particularly as this seemed to have a local Australian connection with a large contingent in Google’s Sydney office. I always felt over time the tech platform meant neat stuff would be built on top and slowly it would succeed. Alot of the tech is open source so maybe it will come back at some point in the future, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.