Why Google Wave failed?

Why Google Wave failed?

About a year ago, I already saw (somewhat) the demise of Google Wave. It was much more evident when they rolled out Google Buzz (splitting user attention).

So yesterday, Google announced they will stop development of Google Wave:

But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects. {via}

This is just over a year of developing a real-time communications tool that many touted as the replacement to email. Or so they thought.

So what was the problem with Google Wave? Well, it was too damn fast busy and in “real-time” that it requires a lot of your attention. It’s like moderating a dozen Yahoo! chatrooms all at the same time. It was also slow (so unlike GMail that’s lean and mean).


Google Wave was also an ambitious endeavor — it wanted to replace your Email Inbox. But email, despite its shortcomings, is still very pervasive and hard to shake off for many. Then they had Google Buzz, a trimmed-down version of Google Wave. Buzz may have significantly driven attention away from Wave.

Still, Google is proud of Wave and what they’ve done with it:

“We celebrate our failures. This is a company where it is absolutely OK to try something that is very hard, have it not be successful, take the learning and apply it to something new. – Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Is anyone here going to miss Google Wave?

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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23 Responses

  1. tipler says:

    Why did Google Wave ‘fail’?

    Well, it was too damn fast…

    It was also slow.

  2. bursky says:

    i was just waiting for that nice project where we could use wave at work. unfortunately, the project never came, the invites were too limited, and it’s a bit confusing to be honest.

    when wave came out, a couple of friends and myself tried it. sure, it was fun at first seeing online friends typing, editing, putting in stuff for about a week or so. but it just never caught-on. YM/Gtalk were easier to manage. (ang hirap din kasi maghanap nung last reply minsan. or we could have been using wave the wrong way.)

    aside: shouldn’t the title be “why did google wave fail?” or “why google wave failed”? parang double past yung did-failed verbs. but i’m not a grammar expert. it just sounds off. :D

  3. rye says:

    I’ll definitely miss it. This product opened a new way to communicate, new protocols and new ways to collaborate. I’m not saying I’m using it everyday but I enjoyed it. Actually I’m just waiting for it to grow and beat other services.

    I agree that it should have been integrated with Gmail and Docs, it could’ve been a different story.

    Sayang, we’ll just Wave it Goodbye. :D

  4. google says:

    yup the title is a big fail.

  5. Joshua M says:

    I was trying out Google wave on the day it came out. but couldn’t use the features because no one else I knew used it nor has a Google account.

  6. wites says:

    i don’t think it failed miserably since we are still using it at the office. we use it to update everyone about project statuses and it does a great job. IMO, it depends greatly on how you use it.

  7. sylv3rblade says:

    They should’ve have rolled it out a few more months into development and opened it to the public from the start.

    It’s still going to be up for the year but after that we’ll definitely miss it on our RPG PBEM sessions :(

  8. yahoo says:

    @google you’re just sour ‘coz your wave failed…

    but yeah, the title is indeed a fail XD

    peace yuga!

  9. yahoo says:

    I think the general public isn’t well-versed enough technically to appreciate its uses. I invited my team to use it for remote collaboration, but they couldn’t be bothered to log in and get an account etc. So we resorted to good ‘ole email and attachments.

  10. Kevin Cheng says:

    There’s also the problem that most people know Google as just a search engine. They know of GMail but don’t use it. I know a lot of techie people who doesn’t even know of Google’s other tools like Calendar, Docs, etc. Hence, noone knows about Wave in the first place.

  11. tipler says:

    Why Google Wave failed.

    It is structured declaratively.

  12. I confused google wave at first as something that I could open all my google apps all in one. I turned out to be some sort of chatroom or something that I totally did not understand…

  13. Miguel says:

    Nice that Google spends the R&D money while the rest of us get the ideas!

  14. mr. bogus says:

    hahahaha…. google ME humanda ka na din dahil flop yan kahit hindi pa na iilalaunch!!!!

  15. Herce says:

    Google is constantly trying dozens of things at once. Many of them fail, but they only really need 1 to succeed at any given time.

    This and a half dozen other things have failed, Android, Google Voice and many other things are a success. Google calls that a win and their bottom line can’t be aruged with.It is a blessing or a curse the way Google operates, who knows?

    Wave sucked, IMO. Wave’s concept was interesting but it failed in practice, at least for me. So I totally agree with you there, if that is what you mean by “busy”.

    I admit, that won’t stop me from going into google labs and trying one of the other dozens of things there the next time I get bored though. :)

  16. Whatif says:

    Masyado ata advance google wave para mga tao… Mga geeks lang nakaka appreciate :)

    “So what was the problem with Google Wave? Well, it was too damn fast busy and in “real-time” that it requires a lot of your attention. It’s like moderating a dozen Yahoo! chatrooms all at the same time”

    lol. hindi naman requirement ang real time na pag check ng wave.. di ba pede pumasok sa wave na matagal nang nagawa then replay the stuffs that happend one by one (using spacebar para mas madali)? at pag nag offline ka then bumalik ka makikita mo new events then check them one by one?

    Sa opinion ko hindi nag click ang wave kasi konti ang nakaka alam nito at di alam ng karamihan ang purpose nya… bow!

  17. Franz says:

    They gave LIMITED invites initially. It should have been easily accessible. Who bothers to ask for wave invites with friends? Geeks of course but they are a very rare breed.

  18. Yuan says:

    wwaaa!! ginagamit namen Google Wave sa office! Paano na yan? We are software developers and pag may mga projects, Wave ang gamit namen for updates.. mas manageable compared to using email.. at real-time.. I’ll definitely miss Wave! :(

  19. sylv3rblade says:

    Google is set to provide tools to help you “unload” from the Wave

  20. Joshua M says:

    1.) Bad Marketing
    2.) Need other users to use it!
    3.) Confusing to normal people
    4.) Yahoo dominates pinoy users Yahoo Mail > Gmail + Wave combined.

  21. Chibabs says:

    I’m a Gmail user, a web developer, but never knew this even EXISTED, well not until today when news came out na mawawala na pala :D

  22. Ethan says:

    It failed because you had no one to Wave hi to. Plus the thing is sluggish as hell.

  23. I will definitely miss it. It is the only tool we use (here at UP MBA) to discuss our cases and homeworks without disrupting our busy schedules.

    I guess it failed because people did not understand it. It may be slow for people with slow machines and slow connections. But it was a great idea.

    I still hope Google will reconsider. Four more months to go.

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