A Clearer View of the Future of Google Glass

pigpen glass

(See Update)

November 14, 2014, via Reuters:

Of 16 Glass app makers contacted by Reuters, nine said that they had stopped work on their projects or abandoned them, mostly because of the lack of customers or limitations of the device. Three more have switched to developing for business, leaving behind consumer projects.

Last year, I observed in a post–one that included an email exchange  with Don Norman of Nielson-Norman and author of The Design of Everyday Things–that I believed the product release of Google Glass was bungled by Google. As much as I’m a fan and customer of many services provided by Google, they have a way of consistently demonstrating a lack of understanding of the importance of “customer” when it comes to marketing non-search products. (They’re better these days with some categories of business-to-business services, however.)

Time-after-time, they seem to come up with a great idea and then slap a name on it and rush it out the door. Time-after-time, they start changing the name of the product or discover they already have something sorta like the new product so they merge them and come up with a third name.

I described this phenomenon about five years ago in a post called, “There are Two Googles: Lucy Google and Pigpen Google” in which I described the difference in products from Google that make sense to me, and those that don’t. (I only began to understand why they’re like this after a post earlier this year written by a Google employee who explained what it’s like to work in a place filled with smart people.)

In my opinion, the early wearers of Google Glass permanently positioned the product as a goofy gizmo for males who are gadget-obsessed. I can forgive them, as great marketers tend to have skills and talents that don’t always show up on SAT scores.

Did I mention I’m a big fan of Google? Why else would I care enough to post something about them?

flashdance photoUpdate, Nov. 15, 2014: One of this blog’s 12 regular readers emailed me after reading this post and asked why I didn’t mention the movie, The Internship. “Uh, because I heard it sucked,” I thought. (And, for the most part it does.) But after watching it to see the reason why I should reference it, I get the point. (Unfortunately, it’s not until the last 10 minutes the obvious point is made, and by then, I can’t think why people would still be watching.)

(Spoiler alert) It’s about really super smart, talented young people who can create cool stuff, but don’t understand exactly what it is they’re selling or to whom they’re selling it–and they aren’t steeped deeply enough in early 1980s pop culture. Cut out about 90% of it and you have a great movie. (And that’s coming from a fan of Vaughn, Wilson and Google.)

Update, Jan. 15, 2015: Public Sales Of Google Glass To End Later This Month (NPR.org)