Is Google Wave a purple Cow

I have been listing to Seth Godin’s Purple Cow audio book on the way to work. It is an interesting book, about creating the most success full products or services, which are such unique that people will talk about them. The book is from 2003, so for an internet product it is quite old. But the point probably still holds.

One of the main issues in the book is to create something, which is so unique that you people starts talking about you product. It is very popular to say that I’m working on a Google Wave project, when talking to people how are working with it. People with less knowledge of IT, does not know what wave is, and it is just a black box for them.

On large part of the adoption should be performed by the innovators. These are the people how just want to use the product because it is cool, not because they need it. They will create a lot of hype of the product; leading to the early adopters will start using the product. This is also achieved with Google Wave. Wave is only opened to a limited number of people at the moment and they generate a lot of noise on the product. Some have concerns about the product, but still positive about the potentials of the product. All the early adapters will inform other people and get them aboard the service, when Wave is ready for prime time.

Seth also says that TV ads, are not cost efficiently. Google is not known for spending anything on advertizing they just use word of mouth or blogs which is faster. So they are using other means for communication.

When the developing product focus groups should be banned, so all the rough edges are removed. I don’t know how the product has been developed, but it has probably stared as a 20% project. The goal with the product has been to develop a product to revolutionize the communication world. It is therefore not a small increment of an existing technology.

It was very interesting to hear the audio program, and then see a lot of the ideas used in Google Wave. The only thing which amazes me is the scale of the product and hype, before it is launched.

Image by sunclover.


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Daniel Graversen

Founder of and SAP Integration consultant at

One thought on “Is Google Wave a purple Cow”

  1. nice one 🙂

    I think, with google wave, google has done something similar … not lke apple .. they make people talk about their product by keeping everything secret … and then thousands of apple blogs try to get secret pictures and predictions etc …

    google wave will slowly emerge as a mass communication tool .. no doubt in that 🙂

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