OK, Sure, Google Wave’s Failure Is a Good Thing

Mathew Ingram:

But shouldn’t we be celebrating the fact that Google was willing to experiment at all? That’s Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s view — he told reporters at the Techonomy conference that “we celebrate our failures,” saying the company encourages staff to take risks and possibly fail. And he is right to do so. […]

So maybe Wave was poorly designed, or over-engineered, and didn’t deserve to live. But we shouldn’t be so quick to condemn Google for releasing it or experimenting with it — if anything, we should be cheering them on.

The problem is, when Google unveiled Wave, they didn’t say, “Hey, maybe this thing is poorly-designed, over-engineered, and confusing — but maybe it’ll be useful.” They billed it as The Next Big Thing. Google itself pitched it as a replacement for email. It was supposed to be a big deal. Wave’s failure may not mean much to Google financially, but it has certainly cost them in credibility.

Friday, 6 August 2010