Official Google Blog: Update on Google Wave
Previously, I mentioned that I got Google Wave, from a theoretic point of view. Now that Google has squashed it, and having read some of the reactions to it, I join those who suggest this is no failure at all.
Google is Google in part because they are not afraid to try things, to see if they might work or not. That they're not afraid to fail is, in the bigger picture, part of the key to their success. At least, that's what Michael Jordan said, and it seemed to work for his basketball career.
To say that "Google has gotten a few things right" is an understatement. That's what's helped propel them to the stratosphere. Through history, many companies have come and gone who got it right for a time and then, for whatever reasons, lost the handle on it.
The challenge for Google is to keep doing more things right than they do wrong. As human beings, they're going to be no more perfect than any other human beings. What's neat about Google is, they've managed to reach their hands into a lot of cookie jars. Some wonder if they're spreading too thinly and losing focus, but then, pulling the plug on Wave should be a good thing, one less cookie jar to distract them.
Let's also keep in mind that Google Wave was in beta - which is the period of evaluation. They did their evaluation and pulled the plug. That's what the exercise is for. Is it reasonable to expect that every product they push out the door will be a smash success? That's a tough expectation for any company.
Having said all this, pieces and concepts of Google Wave will continue to exist and show up as part of other things and, we've forgotten about Wave, I suspect Google will still be here, doing what they do, and doing it well.