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Friday, June 05, 2009

Why Google Wave will take a long time before it takes off (if it ever does)

So now we have seen the feedback of developers who got early access to the system, and we know it is real, they report that it is working just like shown during the demo. Great!

Now I hope I can be proven wrong but I see one big issue in this rollout, and it is the same issue I have seen with Google FriendConnect, which is an excellent concept but does not seem to be taking off as much as I would have hope too. And the issue is that they failed to provide developers with a real incentive.

Unlike with the iPhone, which comes with the iStore where developers have some hope that they can make money, and a few well advertised successes have proven that it is possible, where is the money in building Google Wave gadgets or extensions?

What we have now is a great technology, that will for sure be used by at least a few, but there is no way anybody can justify spending too much time integrating the technology. So it will be done on spare time, as a nice to have, or maybe by startups looking to ride that Wave of hype. But this is not how we are going to see massive adoption anytime soon.

Google makes money selling ads, but they have forgotten that the rest of the ecosystem does not, and developers still need to pay the rent at the end of the month. And while many developers do not make money in the Apple Store, at least we have seen it happen that you can win the lottery if you try.

I hope that we will see a Gadget store at some point, or some other real incentive for developers, as I am sure that it would make a difference in the adoption of Google Wave. And I would love to see Google Wave succeed...

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