Today Google killed Wave. I can’t say I’m surprised. I sent a Wavelet to some of my colleagues back in May declaring Wave dead. I can’t even remember what sparked me to write that but there were a series of telling signs through the course of Wave’s life that it was going to die.
One if the bigger FAIL moments for me was when I logged into Wave one day and I saw a new “Junk Mail” folder. All I could think to myself is that Google managed to invent a brand new way to communicate, something better than what we have today, and before it was even a real thing, they felt they needed to have a Junk folder, indicating that the world of spam was certain to be a part of this brave new world. It seemed weird, and pre-mature… after all, you could hear crickets when you were using that product, who was sending Wave spam?
Anyway, if you go back and read Joel’s excellent piece on Architecture Astronauts, you’ll realize that the Astronauts lost this round. Wave didn’t do any one thing particularly well, and it tried to do things that we already have today that we are generally getting by with just fine. Shutting down a product is not an easy thing, so Google deserves credit for putting this thing out to pasture. But I think it’s a pretty big blow given the hype around Wave not to long ago. My guess is that this will set the tone for how new “radical innovations” will be perceived in the future. It’s hard to compete with e-mail.