Did Google buy Jaiku for it’s engineering talent rather than for the product? I’m betting the engineering team is going to be siphoned off into the GPhone project.
Firstly, Google just bought themselves a bunch of highly experienced engineers, including Jaiku co-founder Jyri Engeström who is an a former senior engineer at Nokia. They’ve proven they can execute and build product cross-web/mobile product and so the team on its own is an asset to the GPhone project.
Secondly, as Finnish nationals it’s a lot easier for them to relocate to London (where the GPhone project is being built) than American nationals. Migration between EU member states doesn’t require any paperwork or work visas.
Vague blog post is still telling
The wording of the Google blog post is vague and guarded, but still equally telling:
“Current Jaiku users can still use the service normally, and new folks can sign up for an invitation to the service when we’re ready to expand. We plan to use the ideas and technology behind Jaiku to make compelling and useful products.”
Hmmm. “..Users can still use the service normally” doesn’t mean “we’re going to keep innovating the service”.
And “We plan to use the ideas and technology behind Jaiku to make compelling and useful products” implies that the Jaiku resource is going to be used elsewhere in the Google empire to me.
At best Jaiku might be back-filled by lesser Google mortals, and at worst left to rot much like Dodgeball, Measure Map and many other startups that have gone to ‘The Plex’.
“Does anyone else on the internet remember that Google != awesome social products? It’s where social tech goes to die, people.”
If I was Ev Williams and Biz Stone I’d be popping the champaign today as that’s a major competitor out of the game. Meanwhile a smart cookie in the development scene could easily crack on with a son-of-Jaiku to take the place of what Jaiku could, and should, have become.