Google has recently announced that it is discontinuing its Google Glass project.
Those famous glasses that projected information onto the glass itself.
And that had a camera to see and record what you were doing.
It was a good example of failed innovation.
Especially because of the hype they created in the first version.
It was even on prime time television.
In reality the product didn’t work.
It was not interesting and generated a lot of doubts.
So they decided to reorient it.
From a product for general use and aimed at the consumer to a product for specialists and aimed at companies and professionals.
In other words, what is known as pivoting in the jargon of innovation.
Along the way, Google left behind, above all, its reputation.
That of the people who expected the product.
But above all that of the professionals who invested enormous amounts of time and money to develop applications for a platform that never took off.
Risks of innovation. They have to be assumed and that’s it.
Although they are probably easier to assume for someone with Google’s financial muscle than for a start-up of new entrepreneurs who invested years in creating a product that would never see the light of day.
I ended my previous article on Google Glass with the sentence “Will this approach work better? Only time will tell.
Well, time has already told.
After years of going through the motions, Google has decided to cancel the project.
A probably very reasonable decision at this point in time.
Quite a few years have passed and the product has not really taken off.
Moreover, the market and technology have evolved and for a concept that was conceived more than 10 years ago, it is very difficult to compete.
Very difficult to compete with other big players like Microsoft, Apple and Facebook, sorry, Meta, who are investing huge amounts in the world and in virtual reality devices for the (who-knows-if-they-will-wait) Metaverse.
So Google Glass has joined the big list at killedbygoogle.com.
285 products on this list already – not bad!
It’s worth mentioning that Google learned something important from the first version of Google Glass.
It learned to avoid creating unnecessary hype when there is so much risk on the table.
Thanks to this, the cancellation of the new version of Google Glass has gone largely unnoticed.
As our esteemed politicians do so well, we have to take advantage of other issues that grab all the media attention to sneak in measures or changes that may be unpopular.
And it is quite clear that Artificial Intelligence in its many variants now occupies the attention of tech junkies.
So yes, Google Glass has, with malice aforethought, passed on.
Valuable lessons can also be learned from this.
It is hard to bury a project in which a lot of time, money and, above all, illusions have been invested.
But even though it is a complicated decision, it is a decision that has to be taken at the right time.
Before trying to make a hundred attempts at changes, campaigns and other brilliant ideas to avoid taking the step that really has to be taken and that in the long run only increase the cost of the investment and make the decision more difficult.
For some people, a project that does not work is a failure and they do everything they can to avoid cancelling it.
For other people, the same situation is a learning experience and, in due course, they decide to change their focus and put their enthusiasm, time and money into other initiatives that have more potential.
But with lessons learned and knowing the pitfalls to avoid on the new path.
Google has 285 failures, or 285 lessons. Depending on how you look at it.
Have you ever had to close a project because it did not give the expected results?
Was it a quick and easy decision?
Or did you try your best to avoid it?