I was right there at the front of the line begging for an invite to the next Social revolution.
I was so hopeful.
And now I can’t even remember why!
So disappointed that the reality doesn’t even approach the empty Google hype.
While Google’s much ballyhooed social media extravaganza, Wave has some potential, it’s preview version is deeply flawed, unfocused and far from being viable, as even a limited real-time messaging medium.
Yet Google is not merely trying to introduce a new Freeware Social App or messaging format.
They are trying to move the mountain; the very way we communicate, down to the name of that branding concept, an email will be evermore known as a real-time Wave, says the Google God.
Don’t bet on it! In fact run out and short this soon to be penny stock.
If you want to move the social multitude you better bring something so unique to the table; something so vital that it can’t be ignored even for all it’s intrinsic flaws.
Only a seamless, simple, outstanding Freeware App. has a chance of achieving what Google is touting.
Certainly Firefox has had great Freeware success and evolved into a true innovator by letting others do the dirty work.
Yet that was a different era and a far different platform, driven by the inferiority of IE , delivered by a distracted and gorged Microsoft.
After using and researching Wave for two weeks, I’ve gone from believing the hype that Google couldn’t miss with Wave, to now thinking they already have.
How can a company like Google purport to have a revolutionary Social App, when app. doesn’t even have the ability for a user to empty their Trash folder?
That’s an astounding lack of foresight or more likely, insular development.
It suggests an almost unavoidable institutional arrogance and skewed paradigm that go hand and hand with a delusion that anything can be sold by throwing more money at an issue.
Even on first blush, I see two major problems and many other less obvious ones to Google’s thinking and premature introduction of Wave:
Wave uses a tremendous amount of memory and CPU, particularly when there are multiple people on a Wave or there are attachments and gadgets. My fan strained, while my internet response slowed to a crawl.
That is a dealbreaker right from the get go. I’m off like a prom dress; never looking back.
Maybe the Google behemoth ascribes to the theory that your hardware must be state of the art and Wave justifies such an upgrade?
The only company that has successfully introduced an application geared toward the purchase of a more robust hardware is Microsoft with one product, Windows. And that has nothing to do with marketing. It has everything to do with being an entrenched monopoly, in a one product market.
While Google is a singular force with an incredible array of outstanding products, they are straining to make Wave all things to all people. They are playing in a huge and agile App market that by necessity is driven by it’s users need for simplicity and ease of use.
And unlike Microsoft’s entrenched, necessary Windows, there are thousands of other freeware Apps that have already given us an ever increasing comfort level, while adequately serving our needs.
Yet Google seemingly strides boldly forward, throwing good money after bad.
Even more troubling is the head banging marketers nightmare, the ‘walk away issue.’
So many products fail because of market expectations and an ill-advised rush to market. These mistakes have given us deep frustration and an unacceptably long learning curve.
Wave is the poster child for just such an epic marketing disaster, with a learning curve akin to China’s long march.
Most of my colleagues are experienced in all facets of Social Media and App. integration.
When I inquire, most say they haven’t had the TIME to try it or aren’t clear as to the where it fits there needs.
It would seem Google Wave developers had plenty of TIME on their hands but weren’t very clear as to where it fits either.
In lieu of direction they’ve thrown in the kitchen sink.
Look no further than the mind numbing 90-page Complete Guide to Google Wave. Gina Trapani’s well done, exhaustive guide, seems to have necessitated more references and links than most medical journals!
The vast majority of people are going to take a quick look at the growing dissatisfaction and run for the safety of their Gmail Labs.
I’ve spent countless hours playing with it, yet have little insight into what to do, or why I need it. And I’m supposed to be an ‘expert’ of sorts.
We are loathe to expend ourselves in such a frustrating manner, doing so primarily when we want or need something (ie.. a gadget, and IPhone), and have spent hard cash for it.
In other words, we have something to lose.
In Waving goodbye we have nothing to lose from a freeware program that packs the bang of popgun.
While gobs of money can often overcome the worst of development and marketing mistakes, time and expectations are not on Google’s side.
Innovation suggests new, essential and necessary, while delivering on at least some level.
Wave is certainly different but it is not innovative.
No matter how much money Google throws at it, Wave remains innovative only for it’s failed aspirirations and insular leap to nowhere.
A wave of your hand to a friend is is an easily forgotten, unimaginative gesture, requiring little effort.
This disappointing Wave is much the same, yet requires far too much effort.
* * * * * *
Warren Mason is Principal Partner at Ascendant Advisors, a management consultant firm specializing in International Licensing, Branding, Media, Product Development, Sales, Marketing, as well as Social and Business Networking. A published writer whose op-eds have appeared in the Boston Herald, Providence Journal, Hartford Courant and other national publications, Mr. Mason was featured on 60 Minutes, the NBC Nightly News and the cover of USA Today.
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