The publication of the demise of Google Wave triggered a tsunami of comments, blogs and tweets tainted with cynicism or candid speculation of the future of social networking according to google. I seems to me that semi-failure is on the critical path to successful innovation. Their culture is cast in risk taking and one can rest assured that google will tryin again – with hope and reward this time !
Anyway, my point is not so much to draw up lessons to be learned but to ponder over another reality. Indeed this reminded me of another blaring announcement made at Lotusphere in Orlando in January2010 about the Vuclan Project - a brand new concept. I was lucky to take part in this event and I was most impressed by the long-term vision, the new dynamics drawing from the portfolio of existing solutions, the continuity offered to QuickR, Sametime, Connections, Portal,… this was Lotus Notes next generation at its best !
There was a little agitation in the blogosphere throughout the following days with extactic comments, a huge enthusiasm, and then, nothing apart from a few comments that the product will be available in a beta version in the second half of 2010 on Lotus Live. On the IBM websites, there is more information to be found about an old parallel computing project, also called Vulcan at its time.
So, what is to be made of this ? Google Wave is flat, Facebook is still growing, Sharepoint 2010 has now caught up on competition and seems to be willing to deal with all social and collaborative topics in the enterprise. IBM is fueling no suspense on their project, no buzz, no enthused developers are leaking any screenshots and there is no published detailed timeframe. IBM have developed a highly legitimate Cloud Computing approach but on the Lotus Live website, in the Coming Soon section, there is only on mention to a Concord project, a well-worn name.
IBM will then have made the choice to drop limitless innovation, now the priviledge of the Apple, Google etc… of this World to ensure a brighted future based on solid products, known and understood by the market in pre-defined but ill-connected silos such as enterprise content management, company social networks, unified communication ofr collaboration. Have IBM missed the train of convergence ? Or is it me, missing out on the branding shift arount LotusLive ? Where are my dreams, help ?