As Google unleash Wave to the development community, it knows that the secret to its success is crowd sourcing.
It was great to see the presentation of Wave at Google IO and in particular how inclusive those behind the project made developers. By opening the doors early to those who can extend and enhance the vanilla offering in ways that Google themselves will not have thought of, ready for a proposed launch later this year is simply fantastic. Unlike players such as Facebook who have retrospectively added to their API, Google have set about this project in a truly open way, which I think wil reap great rewards as Wave will soon become a central way to manage social content.
The presentation in itself is impressive for the way that it neatly sews the various offerings that have made Google so strong in the past few years together – whether that be the on the fly translation capability when chatting in real-time or impressive realtime search result updates of previous conversations. However, this is only an impressive starting point as Google themselves have built these features on top of the foundation not through bespoke APIs but rather the public and open APIs that they have released details on.
Someone once mentioned something that was very poignant for me and it was “Never think you know more than your audience”. This has stuck with me and it rings true in many different contexts. With the openess of the Wave platform, Google have nailed this. Pro-actively understanding that adoption levels will rely on the innovation locked away within the development community. Many companies lack the knowledge to know how to unlock this potential within their respective communities, some are simply ignorant but I believe Google will show how this consideration will lead to an explosion of success around the platform. Enterprise software vendors should pay attention, in the least for the example that will be played out before them – utilise your communities! Vendors should also look to investigate innovative ways in which they can benefit from the Wave foundation as the potential will differ greatly from organisation to organisation.
I for one will be keen to explore the Sandbox that Google have running already and can think of a number of collaborative scenarios that will help organisations centralise social conversations.