Yes, I get the ironies of linking to a guy whose Fake Steve Jobs blog once called me names.  Still, after looking at Wave myself this week, and reading a bunch of blogs and having some conversations about it, I think Lyons sums this up pretty well:

Maybe you've heard about Google Wave. It's the hot new product from Google, the one that's going to change the world and replace e-mail and transform us all into cyborgs with the power to travel into the future and save mankind. Or something. ...

It's apparently fantastic stuff, really super-impressive. There's just one teeny-tiny problem--nobody can explain what Wave is or how it works.  ... But see, if you need an 80-minute video to explain your product, well, that's a bit of a problem.
Lyons goes on to say the most positive things he has possibly ever written about Notes:
Google Wave isn't the first fuzzy product to come along in tech. Back in the 1980s, Lotus Development introduced a product nobody could understand, called  Notes. Oddly enough, Notes also was all about "communication and collaboration." For years Lotus struggled, without success, to explain this  mess of a program. "First it's a floor wax, now it's a dessert topping," an exasperated analyst once quipped, quoting Saturday Night Live. Finally the marketing people at Lotus decided that Notes was an e-mail program. Sure, it was more than that. But e-mail was something people could understand. Guess what? Sales took off.
Lyons being Lyons, he makes one more comparison:
The guy who created Notes, Ray Ozzie, went on to create yet another fuzzy product, again aimed at collaboration. This one was called Groove, and in 2005 it was bought by Microsoft, which made a big deal about how important and profound and revolutionary Groove was going to be. Well, it's still out there, somewhere. Microsoft has a Web page about it, but just looking at that page is enough to give you a migraine. Honestly, I defy you to click on that link and look at that page and then tell me what Groove is. These days you never hear about Groove, except when you ask someone at Microsoft how Ray Ozzie came to be the head techie there and they say, "Oh, he's the guy who invented Groove."
Link: Dan Lyons: Google Wave. Huh. What Is It Good For? >

Post a Comment