Thursday, August 5, 2010

What the death of wave means for new currencies

Remember a year ago when everyone was falling over each other to be one of the "cool kids" who got a wave invite? Well, today Google officially announced the death of Wave. Apparently no one actually used it. Even though I was one of those "cool kids", and even though I too could not find a way to integrate it into my life, I think this is a shame. Wave WAS really innovative. And Wave did have remarkable potential as a collaborative tool / platform.

The lesson should be clear. Even the best inventions backed with tons of resources and hype don't necessarily catch on. The reason I never used Wave was that no one I knew ever used it. If I started a Wave (and in the beginning I started quite a few), chances were other people wouldn't notice. What's more, the people I am referring to gave similar reasons for their not using Wave. Think how similar this predicament is to any new form of currency. And our economic habits are much more deeply ingrained than our email habits.

Collective behavior changes do happen. Today they are happening very rapidly. But what drives this collective behavior modification is still as mysterious as ever. I'm not saying we in the new economy movement should give up. Indeed I see many reasons for optimism. I am saying that we need to be aware of the challenges ahead.

RIP Wave.


  1. Quora has some capabilities Wave featured, such as added comments appearing on a page in real time, thus blurring the blog/IM distinction...

  2. i think the marketing of wave didnt work. I was barely aware of it or what it was ther for. I never heard it mentioned except on the BBC news when it was launched and I simply thought, "yet another instant messaging, one amongst all the rest" as I dont find my google account easy to use I use it only if I absolutely have to. Facebook has instant messaging and so does skype so I took no notice of wave. I still have no real idea whatit was or why it would be different.