Google Wave has reached its Crest

August 12th, 2010 by Search Influence Alumni

In an earlier post, we discussed Google Wave and its pros and cons.  Well, less than a year after it’s launch, you can wave it goodbye. See what I did there? Despite its loyal fan base, Wave just didn’t get the following they’d hoped for. So, they decided to pull the plug.

When it was first announced, it caused shock waves (OK, I’ll stop) through the Internet community. It was touted as an “email killer.” The hype was out of control. So much so, that I wondered if it was going to be able to live up to it. I guess I didn’t have to wait too long for my answer.

So why did it fail? I’ve got a few theories. First, I think Google’s marketing department dropped the ball on this one.  Perhaps they think they’re above effective and creative marketing. The entire Internet is Google’s marketing department, after all. Hopefully, they’ve realized this just isn’t the case. If you’re not a total geek who spends hours browsing the web for the latest technologies (like me), chances are you haven’t even heard of Google Wave. The majority of people I’ve asked haven’t. It goes to show that no matter how great or revolutionary a product is you still need to get the word out. Google failed in that regard.

Next, it was just little too complicated for the average user. One might argue that it wasn’t designed for the average user, but without them it’ll fail to get mass recognition. The best way to get people to use something is to have more available features but to make it as simple and easy to use as possible. There is no way my grandma would be able to use Wave, even though she can use email and even Facebook.

eCards on the other hand...

Another reason is that I honestly think it was too ahead of its time. I know I gave it some grief in our previous blog, but I really think it was a revolutionary and useful tool. People weren’t ready for something so advanced. They liked the simplicity and straight forwardness of email and didn’t see a need to change.

Speaking of change, people just don’t like it. It’s the same reason my mom still uses Internet Explorer and Hotmail.

Wave will still be available for use through the end of the year and Google will extend the technology to its other projects, so it won’t disappear completely. For those who simply can’t live without it, rejoice. There are many alternatives out there. Unfortunately some are paid, but if it is that important to your daily routine it should be worth it. If you absolutely refuse to pay, design your own, cheapskate! The code and protocols are open source, so you can continue the innovation yourself!