How Google is failing the launch of Google Wave

It has been a while now since the Google team announced their heavily anticipated new addition to the ever growing Google empire. This time it was a work group related application that was supposed to take us by storm. For a brief moment it actually was as well. But then what happened? The VIP-like invites were almost as legendary as the Moonwalk was when it first hit the public. Everyone wanted one but few actually had access to them. Some people even wanted to pay insane money just to be included in the first batch of invites going out.

Then Google started giving more and more people the invites and we went from black market trading to friend giveaways. A few people had a couple and they, in return of some promotion, gladly chose the one that could provide the most visibility for them. At this point Google Wave was still as interesting and exciting. Maybe because no one really knew what to expect from it. In the demoing that Google held it was apparent that the application was no where near completed and almost not up to public beta either. The many failures during the demo proved this but we all wanted in on this new and exciting way of working together.

Google Wave DemoingThird stage came and it’s here where something went horribly wrong. At least that’s what the numbers and excitement tell us. People started getting more and more invites. Even people that already had invites to give away suddenly got another batch of 16 invites. At the sound of it, it almost felt like Google had their application under control and knew exactly what they were up against. But people stopped urning for the invites and people somehow got wind that the new wonder child of Google wasn’t much else than a word processor that could be used over distances and by many people at the same time. Well, that’s exactly what Google Wave is if you think about it.

I myself got 16 invites and I tried over a period of 2 days to give them out to people if they wanted them Guess what, 5 days later and I still have 14 left. It seems like no one wants them anymore. My first thought was, maybe it’s time to give them to my family or close friends that don’t even know that Google Wave exists. maybe they want them. But then again why would they need a service like this? It’s not like I will chat with them through Google Wave when I can just pick up the phone and call them. Or even just drop by and say hello.

No, somewhere along the line Google missed the opportunity to impress us. Somewhere along the line they stopped thinking about what was beneficial for us using this new and free service. As for updates I haven’t seen one since the launch of Google Wave. Not even a hot fix. And let me tell you, there are still stuff to be dealt with in order to provide is as a multi platform massive user application.

Google Wave Fail

The fact that it’s super slow after just a couple of hundred additions of text makes the application unbearable to work with and we’ve done it quite a lot here at Bit Rebels. I usually talk to my rebels through Google Wave when we have something that needs coordinating or just brainstorming for new things that we would like to add to Bit Rebels. But after a while we just run out of energy. And let me tell you, it’s not because lack of inspiration. It’s purely because Google Wave just can’t handle the amount of information we want to pass back and forth when we collaborate.

How is Google Wave going to sustain a large group of people working on a large project for a business related topic. If things weren’t hard enough already to pass around how could this possibly help speed things up.

I think Google should have put some more brain power into this nice concept (on paper) instead of letting us getting bored with it just because it is not up to par with the speed that we are doing things today. If Google would have made sure that there was something appealing with the whole thing. New or old. That would have helped people to stay excited about the whole thing. As it is now things just doesn’t look that good for the application.

Google Wave ApplicationsWe had a vision of using Google Wave here on Bit Rebels. Right in the article in order to attract as many visitors and viewers as possible to find out about Google Wave and what its possibilities are but when we added the plugin to our WordPress engine…well, let’s say nothing much happened besides creating a nice little gray block in the position where we had planned for a lot of creative people to interact. OK, I can’t put this entirely on Google Wave, after all it was the plugin we used (no names…hrmm…”Wavr”) that caused the whole thing not to function properly. But still…

If Google had wanted to make this the next big thing shouldn’t they have had some people at Google working on these kinds of things? I mean, a plugin for WordPress could have been a real booster for people to check it out. To be able to host live events on your blog certainly is a great feature. There are so many features that they could have added to it already that doesn’t take that much programming so one can’t but wonder what happened. Even if they are working on fixing bugs and actually adding features it is awfully quiet from Google about Google Wave. I mean, even Twitter makes a buzz before they launch something new. Even Apple.

In my own humble opinion I think Google is failing miserably launching this quite potentially powerful application. And the reason why is due to the fact that they don’t seem to be able to see where the potential lies. They specifically announced that they want the community to develop 3rd party tie-ins for Google Wave but wouldn’t it be a good idea to solve the “un-syncing” problem first then? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to work a little more on the actually engine to prevent fall outs and lag?

If Google doesn’t look at their strategy one more time and closely this time I am afraid the “Golden Time Frame” will just pass them by where people see the unique and ultimately cool features and possibilities of Google Wave.

I would hate to see this wonderful idea fall through the cracks because of ignorance in the field of usability and future trends. It ain’t that hard to see where Social Networking and Work Group applications are heading. Right?

Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009