In a recent speech, Astro Teller from Google X scolded the company for building expectations for Google Glass as if it were a finished product, when instead it’s just in the developmental phase.
He also touched the subject of how the company is working through its secretive characteristics and is learning how to be more open about its products. Speaking at SWSQ last week, Teller admitted that Google might have encouraged people to believe Google Glass is ready to hit the market.
He added that communication with the customers is something that the company is still working at, but the “bumps and scrapes” earned through trying and failing show they are making progress.
Google X is most notoriously known for its “moonshots”, which are projects less likely to ever hit the market, but which might have resounding effects. This department of Google usually keeps all its projects unknown until they are ready to be presented to the world, and even then, they treat them as “works-in-progress”.
A very good example is Project Loon, started by Google in an attempt to connect the other half of the world to Internet access. They designed weather balloons capable of delivering Wi-Fi signal underneath them. The project would obviously benefit a lot of people, but Google stands to gain as well, as more people can access their huge online advertising business.
But Google X hasn’t had a more high-profile project than Google Glass, which is basically a headpiece for virtual reality. Its most prominent feature is voice control, allowing users to perform various tasks.
Teller’s point of view is that Google made a mistake by marketing the device so heavily, as the product was never meant to hit the mass market. Due to this marketing move, Google has allowed Google Glass to be a part of customer purchase for a price of $1,500. Google’s intention was to learn more about what Glass could be useful for, and what social norms could it implement.
And despite the project’s failure to communicate better with the public, the Google X chief is ready to learn and not minimize it. He added that the longer you postpone showing the world what you are working on, the more difficult it will be to accept that your project might not be even working.
That’s why an open communication helps developers understand the social dimension of their work, and reduces the situations where high expectations are met with great disappointment from the public.
Image Source: Tech Crunch
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