Google Wave: Mexican or Tidal?

3 06 2009

A quick glance at Google Wave

The late May announcement of Google Wave has caused a great level excitement and lively debate about the possibility of a true paradigm shift in the way the world communicates. The release of Googles game changing product (Wave) was specifically targeted at the global community of web developers in an attempt to create an environment of enthusiastic discussion and development prior to the official launch later in the year.

If you would like to read more about Google Wave features, read this excellent article at Mashable.com

So, is all this excitement simply fan fair for another Google product? Are techies getting carried away with a flashy new toy? Not likely. Google Wave is no run of the mill product release and it is something we should all be excited about, very excited.

Google Wave is a prime cut piece of innovation that the world has been in desperate need of for a very long time. As Lars Rasmussen, co-founder of Google Wave highlights, email was created some 40 years ago, before the creation of the internet its self and it was done without the experience and knowledge we now have of things such as wikis, social networks, sms, instant messaging and so on. Lars also notes “Google Wave is what email would look like if it was created today”.

Google Wave’s core principles target the heart of typed communication and collaboration that we know and use today. With Wave, email and instant messaging are both on the hit list. It does not stop there either, incorporating modern day web application features such as wikis, document management, project management and the highly popular features found in social networks and micro-blogging sites such Twitter.

Google Wave Main Interface

Google Wave Main Interface

The Wave framework provides and extensible platform that can leverage new and existing google gadgets, support the use of “robots” designed to automate tasks and perform a myriad of functions, embed Waves into external blogs and web sites, “talk” to popular web services such as Twitter and in the future no doubt provide the backbone to many future business applications.

The true beauty of Wave however is in its open platform. Once Google officially releases Wave to the public, the lion share of its code will be made publicly available for competitors and developers to freely copy and create their own version of Wave. Google quite rightly understands that what it has created is truly a new revolution and for a real revolution to take hold, you need participation from friends and foes alike.

One feels that if any company is going to be able to make this work, Google is it. It has the right business model, a talent pool of some of the worlds finest engineers, plenty of cash to back it (they have already invested two years in the development of Wave to date) and a business ethos that gives you some level of confidence that this is not all about the share price (although I am sure share price is a factor).

There is no question Wave will be adpoted by the masses. Web based real-time communication is common place now and there is a strong appetite for true information aggregation tools. Wave will not spell the end of Facebook and Twitter though, they are big machines (although not monetised yet) and they have the ability to adjust their business models to ensure they continue to thrive. Humans love choice and because of this, no one tool will take over the world, it is just a matter of how the big players adapt to use Wave to their advantage.

The question I have is, when will Wave break into the corporate world?. On one hand, the sheer enormity of the shift in functional understanding could severly impeed Waves progression into this world. On the other hand, Google is continuing to make in roads into the corporate world through its rapidly improving Google Apps Premier suite. They are ticking all the boxes in setting up an environment that is safe and secure for corporate. Adding Wave to a companies secure Google Apps Premier account is its ticket in the door. If the guys at Google can prove that Wave can co-exist seemlesly with Email, IM, Sharepoint, Exchange, Blackberry, legacy applications etc through the difficult transition phase, which could be years, it becomes hard to create a case as to why you would not want to be an early adopter in the business world.

For me, I love what Google has created. Their foresight and ability to turn Wave into into a reality shows a company that truly believes it has the opportunity and the goods to change the world of communcation. However, it is not so much the communication ability and interface that I am most excited about, it is the new breed of web based applications that Wave will likely be the backbone for. This is where Wave has a very strong opportunity to advance into the business community. If done correctly, it is possible that businesses will be users of the Wave framework and platform before they even begin to use and adopt Wave as it looks today. For now however, I will wait eagerly for the public release and continue to dream of ways in which Wave might one day be adopted into my day.

Read more about the founders of Google Wave

Lars Rasmussen

Jens Rasmussen

Stephanie Hannon

If you are interested in what the developer community is talking about with Wave, check out the Google Wave API and Google Wave Protocol discussion groups. There is some really insightful view points here.

Also if you have not seen the developer preview demo of Wave, check it out here. (It does go for 80 minutes though).

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3 responses

12 06 2009
Adam Squire

So is it Mexican or Tidal?

12 06 2009
tech2bus

Tidal…

29 07 2009
Lee

I’d say it was Mexican – one which may even take a few attempts to get started.

I just can’t see there being that big jump in to make it tidal.

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