Here’s the difference between what a company like Google can do and what most can do. Google Wave was the big news yesterday, but it’s not exactly a new effort. It’s been in the works since 2007:
Lars had already moved to Sydney, and made the case that Wave could best be created there, where the team could operate as a kind of independent startup. Jens moved over, and they built the first prototype over nine months with a team of five, during 2007. Since then, the team has grown to about 100.
Not many companies can afford to dedicate 100 highly paid people to what is essentially a completely speculative effort. Google has almost certainly invested more resources in Wave than Twitter has utilized over its life, and Twitter has millions of current users.
It’ll be interesting to see how Wave does once the demos are over and real people start using it. Google Wave’s evolution clearly runs counter to the “release early and often” culture that pervades Web development these days and I’ll be interested to see whether it works out well.