May 31, 2009
His argument is that Wave has 10 years of adoption curve ahead of it and would not quickly replace email or wikis for enterprise staff.
I tweeted my response:
20% of enterprise users will be using wave in the first 12 months for more than 50% of their comms (replacing email and wiki)
Edit: To be clear, my 12 month time frame begins when Wave is publicly available.
That’s a big call to make on enterprises adopting a radically new technology. Enterprises move very, very slowly. So why am I so bullish on the adoption of Google Wave in the enterprise?
Email is king
Everyone uses email right? Why would people swap? Because with Wave, they don’t have to.
First, with Wave’s API there will quickly and instantly (I mean in weeks, long before public launch) be integration between Wave and Email. Wave messages and events will be funneled to email and back again as if the two were built from the same protocol.
Second, Wave will be viral. Users will quickly realize that their email inbox is only giving them a pale imitation of the Wave collaboration experience. It will be like working with shadow puppets while your friends are over having an acid trip of light, sound, fun and productivity.
If someone had told me that they were setting out to kill/replace email, I would have laughed in their face. Now that I see the Wave product and roll out strategy – I think it might actually happen.
Enterprise IT Departments
IT departments are slow to adopt and roll out new technologies right?
People forget that enterprises are just a collection of human beings. Social beings. Like IM, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, Wikis and countless other applications, Wave will soak into an enterprise long before the IT department knows what the hell is going on.
The enterprise adoption curve of Wave, however, will make those other technologies look glacial. Everyone who ever picked up a Wiki, IM client, Facebook or Twitter (I think that covers 99.9% of the developed, working world) will latch onto Wave for dear life.
Everyone else will be forced to open a Wave client to find out what the hell is going on.
Too many tools
Enterprises indeed have many, many tools that already ‘own’ a large part of a given knowledge worker’s/enterprise user’s day.
None of them matter anymore. Again, with Wave’s amazing API and extensibility model, each of these apps, custom or not, will have a Wave bridge.
Official Wiki Pages, Sales Reports, Bug Tickets, New Blog Posts, Emails, Customer Records will all be available and accessibly from the Wave interface.
Who’s going to write all those bridges? Hacker employees, smart IT department engineers, new start-ups and the companies that own those other products hoping desperately to remain relevant and competitive.
Geocities, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. What do these things show us? That technology adoption has a half-life. Geocities lasted as king of the heap twice as long as MySpace, MySpace twice as long as Facebook and so on. We are approaching a kind of singularity – although just like with the mathematical function, one can never achieve 0 of course.
Sure, enterprises move much more slowly, but when was the last time a really new enterprise productivity application hit the market? Do we even know what the current half-life is? My bet is that it’s pretty damn short – and Wave has the potential to be ahead of the curve.
Related link: Business Opportunities around Google Wave
October 19, 2008
In times of change, new opportunity is always created. Always.
Many have written on the opportunity created by this economic downturn. Here are some of the excerpts:
1. You don’t need a boom to grow.
2. Better access to great people.
3. A slump doesn’t stop spending, and it increases in some areas.
4. There is still money available if you look hard, and you deserve it.
5. The community is still here to support you.
6. The big guys cut back on R&D letting you do the innovating.
Paul Graham writes:
The economic situation is apparently so grim that some experts fear we may be in for a stretch as bad as the mid seventies.
When Microsoft and Apple were founded.
If we’ve learned one thing from funding so many startups, it’s that they succeed or fail based on the qualities of the founders. The economy has some effect, certainly, but as a predictor of success it’s rounding error compared to the founders.
So maybe a recession is a good time to start a startup. It’s hard to say whether advantages like lack of competition outweigh disadvantages like reluctant investors. But it doesn’t matter much either way. It’s the people that matter. And for a given set of people working on a given technology, the time to act is always now.
And Rajesh Jain writes:
For entrepreneurs, they need to forget about the craziness around and just focus on the business and market. The stuff that’s happening has little or no impact on the business of most early stage companies — in most cases, their revenue base is too small to see any negative impact from “market conditions.” So, any sales person giving market slowdown as a reason for not meeting targets needs to be given a talking to!
I also think this is a great time to get alternative / disruptive ideas to consumers and businesses. Everyone is much more receptive to discussions about solutions which provide better ROI. (And without a simpler, cheaper solution, entrepreneurs don’t really have much of a chance anyways.)