When Google announced that it is going to kill Wave, my first reaction was - wait, what will happen to Google Wave in Google Apps? So I looked for a post on Google Enterprise Blog. The post basically echoed what was mentioned in their official blog post. It didn’t clearly say if it’ll discontinue Wave from Google Apps by the end of the year - I guess it left it to user’s imagination.
If you remember, Google Wave was launched just couple of months back at Google IO. Now most Google Apps users will remember Google Wave as a product that was killed within 2 months after its launch (though it was available for consumers for about 14 months). What is the other product that was killed recently within such a short timeframe? Oh ya, Kin, from Microsoft.
Killing free consumer products is one thing, but killing products that are offered to businesses and are part of paid offerings is an entirely different thing. When a high profile product is discontinued 2 months after the release, it raises more questions.
Jeff Mann from Gartner talked about this subject today on his blog.
If I had spent a lot of time or money incorporating Wave into how I work, I would feel pretty bad after someone pointed out that blog post to me. Just imagine: you have to follow a specific blog page to find out that the product you have built a business around, or used every day is doomed. . If I were a partner who had spent money developing products around Wave, I would feel even worse. Let down. Adrift. Angry. Certainly, I would think twice about doing business around Google technologies again. Actually, I wouldn’t think twice; I would never do it again.
Infact, I am interested in hearing the reaction from all the companies who invested in Wave as a platform and showcased their ware, just two months back, at Google IO.
I guess, at the end, Google is a search & ads company (to support that Eric Schmidt confirmed that yesterday saying Android is created to help its search business). When push comes to shove, Google will focus on its core business - search & ads - and could terminate its enterprise offerings. After all, their Google Apps business doesn’t contribute much to its bottom-line.
Discloser: I work for Zoho, which competes and co-operates with Google. But that said, Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho explained it best…
When push comes to shove - and there is a lot of very messy push and shove in the business software market - Google’s resources are going to flow into figuring out how to monetize the humongous traffic of YouTube or compete in online auctions, rather than figure out a way to squeeze a bit more margin compared to Oracle or Adobe or Salesforce. That may explain why Google has been silent on CRM, Project Management, Invoicing or HR type of tools, because those markets don’t offer the profit potential they already enjoy.