Demise of Google Glass: The lesson for enterprises

Google Glass is unofficially dead. Which means it’s officially dead, but Google won’t just come out and admit it.

No longer will consumers have the opportunity to shell out $1,500 for eyewear that antagonizes/amuses those around them. Rather, the search giant is pretending that it’s just taking its grand wearables experiment in-house for fine-tuning. Given Google’s well-known track record for abandoning products, don’t be surprised if we never hear from Glass again.

So what doomed Google Glass? We all have a pretty good idea, but Adweek spells it out in a creative and totally appropriate way: The site Googled “glass wearer” and reported these top results:

  • “Another Google Glass Wearer Attacked in San Francisco.”
  • “Google Glass wearers can steal your password.”
  • “Google Glass wearer removed from AMC theater.”
  • “Google Glass wearer interrogated.”
  • “Google Glass wearer robbed at Taser point.”
  • “The revolt against Goggle Glassholes.”

I did my own search for “Google Glass is” and got “dead” and “a fail.” Which are certainly on point: Google Glass did fail, and it failed because the public rejected it. The exorbitant price played a part, as did the relative dearth of truly useful applications.

But the real reason Google Glass never caught on is because people disliked the form factor — and that includes wearers and non-wearers. (Before a “Glass Explorer” writes in to tell me how much they love Glass, you’re in a tiny minority.)

The lesson here for enterprises is that you can’t force employees to use technology they don’t want to use. The age of consumerization simply gives people too many options. The best thing to do is find out what technology employees prefer to use to do their jobs — whether it’s a particular mobile device, a cloud service, or a collaboration tool — and support it.

Comments

  1. nigelbarron says:

    Like Amazon’s FirePhone, Google will take this failure, learn from it and take the technology they have developed and produce other products. The lesson is also fail forward, fail fast and fail fruitfully.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agreed, Nigel. A prototype is never a failure if you learn from it. There are many more failures from forcing a prototype into production when it should not be. We need to accept the value of lessons learned.

    Liked by 2 people

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