Monday, April 14, 2014

Google Glasses Flub Wub Dub

From LinkedIn:

I've been deep in tech innovation world since 600 baud. I still have my Apple Quick Take camera. I remember Bill Gates in a bandana at Comdex wandering around the Memphis booths. In all that time, I don't remember anyone paying for the privilege to test a product. Or paying an "entry fee" to be part of a not-ready-for-prime-time program. In fact, one of the impressive innovations of recent years is the growth of crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter which give the little guy a chance with people-powered money. If some of these innovators had asked testers for a fee to experience the prototype, this necessity would at least be understandable.

But Google? Google doesn't need anybody's donations. And if for some bizarre reason they did, for god's sakes, get the big bucks from specialized potential users like the military or even medicine. When I first heard about Tuesday's sale, I was sure they'd be selling the gadget at a discount. I figured this was a fire sale: the typical strategy of a company clearing the "shelves" in anticipation of the new product line. While that move still wouldn't have jibed with my tests-should-be-free conviction, it would have made sense.

I'm no Google hater. I'm merely a beta tester and researcher who believes in the well-honed new product testing methodologies. For the majority of my career as a market researcher, we've paid the participants. Not the other way around. I've heard stories about the number of Google Glass buyers who returned them and got a refund. I'd love to know how many decided not to pay Google for studying them.