Riding a ‘Wave’ of blind optimism
Today marks 10 years since Google stoked great excitement in the tech community by unveiling a new product called Wave. I remember it clearly, because that day I sat down on my sofa 5,000 miles away from Google’s developer conference and wrote my first ever post as a paid tech journalist
, trying to make sense of what exactly Wave was.
To this day, it’s difficult to explain Wave. Essentially, it let you collaborate with others in real-time — a first for the web of a decade ago. But when users got their hands on it, they were left confused about what they were supposed to do with an impressive tech demo that failed to clearly spell out real-world use cases.
Ten years on, Wave is dead but its legacy lives on every time you collaborate in real-time with someone else on a Google Doc. What sadly hasn’t lived on is the blind, dumb enthusiasm we had back then.
Back then there were new apps and toys to play with online every few days (remember all the apps that were built on Adobe Air?). We all enthused about how social media and new technology could change the world, and wrote optimistic pieces about how much better the world could be.
Now, we’re much more cynical. While that’s healthy to an extent, I do think we focus too much on the negative now.
I’ve written a piece that expands on this over on TNW. Go have a read