A friend sent me a link to a posting on the official Google blog that says they are effectively killing Wave. The reason given is lack of user adoption.

I think what it shows is rather Google’s failure to properly position the product on the market – or even turn the technology they have developed into a product. What they had was a potential Exchange killer – a system that could have been a real game changer in corporate communications as I wrote when it was unveiled. Instead of trying to get general Internet user community to adopt it Google should have packaged Wave as a corporate messaging/integration/collaboration system and market it bundled with support services to large corporations.

Someone else can still do this if they will indeed release much of the technology behind Wave to the public as open source code. Heck, maybe even Microsoft will adopt some of the concepts (and maybe even protocols) into their next release of Exchange/Outlook pair.

Still, this shows us Google is not immune from the problem of many great tech companies: inability to market great inventions. This has happened before many times – companies developed brilliant technology, but then failed to turn it into a product or market it successfully. Some didn’t survive it (Commodore, DEC), some did, but just failed to grasp a great opportunity (like Xerox for example).

So far Google still has its huge revenue stream from their basic product – pay per click advertising driven by search results – so failure to market Wave won’t hurt them. However, some research suggests ppc ads are declining in value as people learn to mentally avoid them (even if they don’t use the great Ad Block plugin as I do). So, dear Big Brother Google, better think twice next time before you throw away some great product in the making.