Google just killed its Wave product, a live-collaboration system that generated as much confusion as press. Unmentioned in the official product obituary: Google's impatience.

After more than two years of development and testing by a team in Australia, plus another year of trials on invitees, Google Wave was released to the world just this past May, barely two months ago. A fundamentally new communication system like Wave is useless without a large base of users, so Google really should have given the product more than 77 days to catch on. The company must know this; it has enough staff versed in network effects to see that Wave needed time to grow. But Google is reportedly preparing for war with Facebook, and apparently prefers channeling its resources into that conflict.

Hopefully, for the sake of its own ability to innovate, Google still has enough surplus energy to do more than chase a social network's taillights.

[Image: Rafa Garcés/Flickr]