Before Xero I did a company called AfterMail that was possible because the fundamental way email is stored – is broken. You can’t ask the question, “what email has anyone in my business sent to that customer?” You can’t easily search over email, and email stores the same things multiple times.
We started that business 5 years ago. There has been 2 versions of Exchange since then and they are just as broken. Nothing has fundamentally changed.
Email clients like Outlook and Entourage have done exactly the same thing for 10 years. It has always frustrated me that the big megavendors have not invested in email – the most used application in business. Email is fundamentally inefficient and the lack of innovation has wasted millions and millions of hours across businesses for years.
Enter Google Wave:
Finally, one of the megavendors has used their considerable resources to rethink the most used application in business.
This is one of the most exciting productivity initiatives I’ve seen.
- This shows the power of design. Actually taking a step back and looking at how things are broken and how they could be.
- Web applications are becoming stunning. The web platform is accelerating.
- This is an open source protocol. That is important if this is going to the way communications works and we can get rid of inefficient email model.
- Where do Calendars fit in this new model?
- What will Microsoft’s response be? If you were the messaging guy you’d be thinking your world has just changed. If I was them this is the reason to finally move aware from the legacy Exchange, Office model. Keep doing that if you must but form a new team to build a robust, but short release cycle (6 months versions) Enterprise Wave Server and new Mac and Windows wave clients. Here is a platform that could be even better in a Software + Services model.
- Counter point. Is Google being arrogant and how will they monetize? I think Wave is a platform shifter to the Web. Google wins across the board if people move from email clients to the web. This is another direct attack on Office, Windows Client and even SharePoint – Microsoft’s newer cash cow. The browser becomes the platform. Some strong sentiment here: It’s Time For Microsoft To Face Reality About Search And The Internet and What Just Happened? Thursday Was Supposed To Be Bing Day and Microsoft Silverlight vs Google Wave: Why Karma Matters.
Google Wave is important. Yesterday was a big day for the industry and a big wake up call for Microsoft. It is time for innovation.