In the early days of our partnership, we used Groove as our “groupware” platform. We wanted a peer-to-peer solution – wanting to avoid a server-based approach. As Ray Ozzie described it, Groove was a solution for the post-email world.
And, for us, it was a great – if quirky – one. Groove attracted a small group of passionate users – but failed to attract anything close to a mass market. Groove was ultimately acquired by Microsoft – mostly for Ozzie, not for the product itself.
This afternoon, Google announced that development of Wave was ceasing – having failed to attract enough users to be important enough. The closest thing to Groove in my mind was Wave – and it failed similarly.
There’s a definite market here – that both Microsoft and Google found just to small to matter. That market will matter to someone – we’ll see who picks up the gauntlet – and whether they (and their investors) have the patience for this market to really develop. If there’s competition, it’s Google Docs. But, as the success of Dropbox has shown, Google Docs still leaves a LOT to be desired.
Darwin at work.