Wave launched as an unruly Wild West environment, with all waves public and free. Power
users who wanted to use the platform for serious collaboration projects hated this poor signal to noise
ratio. This proved to be a turnoff, though Google later added controls to privatize waves.
Limited Consumer Appeal
Even for users who mastered Wave, its use was limited to workgroup collaborations. Someone who wants to chat
with friends and family online wouldn't launch a wave to do so. That someone would use an IM client, or most likely today,
Failure to Launch
Google Wave was open sourced and yet failed to catch on with developers.
While SAP, Novell and Salesforce.com all vowed to work with Wave, and there were a number of extensions created, the support
didn't match that of other Google projects, such as Chrome, for which there are thousands of browser extensions. That's a
Too Much Competition
In the consumer sphere, Wave was no match for e-mail, IM and Facebook.
Moreover, tools such as Salesforce.com's Chatter, Novell's Pulse and SAP's s-w provided ample competition for group collaboration.
from sporadic feature updates, including e-mail notifications and a "WaveThis" button, Google did virtually nothing
to market the platform.
to the Crash
While Google didn't market Wave,
media and bloggers did! We wrote scores of stories on how cool Wave was. Then people finally got their Wave invites and discovered,
"gee this is a bear to use. My friends are all on Facebook—I can chat with them there." So even people who
finally got invites didn't use Wave. Another point of failure.
Not Enough Power Users
influential bloggers or programmers can carry a service. Robert Scoble championed Friendster. While Trapani championed Wave,
her enthusiasm wasn't enough to thrust Wave into the consumer consciousness.
No Integration with Google Apps
Google proudly displayed Wave as its own entity. It would have been better served attached to Google
Apps similar to the way Google Buzz was tied to Gmail, with Google suggesting users try it out for certain collaboration functions
in Google Docs or Sites. There are ways to do this without negating user privacy. Now it seems that Wave features, such as
the live editing, will be added to Google Apps. That should have been the approach from the start.
Too Much, Too Soon
The bottom line is Wave was ahead of its time. Aside from bleeding-edge techies, the bulk of today's connected
computer users aren't ready to handle e-mail, instant messaging and social networking in a real-time platform.