We knew it was coming, but alas, the loss of Google Wave hits us anew now that the execution date has finally come. To say we fully grokked this platform would be untrue, but as we dug through its history to gather our thoughts, we realized what a misunderstood creature Wave really was. Released in 2009 with great fanfare and no shortage of Firefly references, the program meant well with its collaboration-friendly interface, emphasis on multimedia sharing and raft of third-party extensions such as real-time Swedish Chef translation. But while its heart was in the right place, the service sacrificed accessibility for intrigue, a distinct online identity for an early adopter sensibility. Thus, after the invite-only mystique wore off and talk of a Wave app store began to sound downright foolish, the program's future looked anything but rosy. But even a product this short-lived can have a legacy: in Wave's case, it could be making Google Plus seem downright approachable by comparison. And though this may be little consolation to those hardcore wavers -- few and far between as they may be -- the project's spirit will live on in the equally perplexing Apache Wave. RIP, Google Wave, we really hardly knew you.