The death of Google Wave means a step-change at Google

It would be easy to write an “I told you so” post about the demise of Google Wave. Launched with the kind of fanfare that tempts hubris, it was quickly abandoned by even the most fervent of Google-boosters. Scoble, to his credit, was bang on the mark after just a few days.

What I find interesting about the whole saga, though, is the speed with which Google has acted and the implications this has for how the business is being run.

To me, it looks like someone at Google has made a strategic decision: the old mantra was “what’s good for the web is good for Google”. Anything which encouraged people to use the web more was good, and Google would invest in it, even if it had no direct implication for the company’s bottom line. The idea was simply that the more people used the web, the more ads they’d probably see, and the more money Google would make. Attributing that revenue growth directly to Google’s efforts wasn’t all that important.

This attitude spawned a slew of products, few of which could be directly shown to make Google money. And Wave, which notably had no ads attached and no obvious place to put them, was probably the best example of this ethos.

It will also probably be the last.