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A shiny object passes on

August 6, 2010

I don’t like e-mail.

I don’t like how we have to read from the bottom up.

I don’t like how urgency is symbolized by a screamer.

I don’t like how when you delete an e-mail, you have to delete it again.

I don’t like Entourage (not the show, the mac version of Outlook).

I don’t like the fact that they didn’t call it Outlook for Mac like they do for all the other Microsoft Office Mac products.

All of this is to tell you that I was really excited about the prospects of Google Wave.

Google asked some people to re-imagine e-mail. If e-mail were to be invented now, and not that thing from the 60’s, what would it look like?

They thought it would look like a Wave.

At first, we all got on and rode the Wave (and remember when we got invites). Then, we stopped (and I’ll refrain from making any crested jokes).

In light of everyone stopping, Google announced it would stop.

“We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product” explained Google SVP of operations Urs Holzle in this blog post.

So what does that mean? For now, Google will not re-invent e-mail. Even more, one of those things that was going to ‘change everything’ died. It didn’t change anything, but that doesn’t mean things don’t need to change. E-mail is one of the most lousy tools that we use, both to do business, and to manage social media communities. And don’t even get me started about reading e-mail from a mobile.

Crikey. We need something better.

And if Google can’t invent something better, then I suspect we’re stuck with what we have. The good news is Outlook has added some functionality to its PC based e-mail that actually synchs with Facebook and maybe some other social networks.

Outlook might turn into more. so the re-imagining of e-mail might simply be turning it into one place to manage many networks.

I fear that my e-mail future is in the hands of Microsoft. We’ll see how that goes.

Bye Google Wave.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2010 1:59 pm

    I’m curious, why Wave over Gmail? I never used Wave so I was wondering why it was beater in your mind?

  2. August 9, 2010 8:15 am

    It wasn’t better. It was meant to be better. It was promised to be the end of e-mail. E-mail re-imagined for the 21st century. It failed. It was never any good.

    Except playback. That was awesome. And the ability to reply to a specific part of an ‘e-mail’ within the e-mail. That was awesome.

    But like any tool, it only worked if people used it. And people didn’t.

    • August 9, 2010 10:55 am

      Those features sound very interesting.

      Someday someone will come along and create killer app 2.0 and my guess is it will have tentacles into all the social media, CRM, project management, information storage (evernote types) of sites and all be accessible from anyplace that has a screen to show XHTML.

      My guess would also be that they will start not by creating a new email client but some new evolutionary concept of connecting people and the data that orbits around them.

      Good Hunting,

  3. August 26, 2010 6:27 am

    A+ would read again

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