Why did Google Glass fail when the Apple Watch succeeded?

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Google obviously thought they were onto another great technological winner when they launched Google Glass in 2013, but by 2023 it had died a miserable death. In this Vlog, Grant talks you through the 3 C’s and helps you understand what Google didn’t.

Do you remember Google Glass – the device that you could wear on your face and take pictures by winking – and access some of your phone screen by just looking? Of course, it flopped… because it wasn’t a compelling offer.

Nobody needed to take pictures by winking or access their phone screen, when their phone was in their pocket anyway. It was no more convenient or perhaps even less convenient to wear a device all the time, than just to take your phone out of your pocket.

So in your business, when you are coming up with a new product or service or an innovation to an existing offering, think in terms of the three Cs – because they will save you the embarrassment of Google Glass.

The 1st C is Compelling. How compelling is your offering? What challenge does it solve for people? How’s it going to make their life better?

Google glasses didn’t solve any challenge. Everybody was walking around with a phone in their pocket, so having a camera on your nose rather than in your pocket made no difference to anybody. Unless it’s going to significantly improve the lives of people, or solve a really big challenge, it’s not compelling.

The 2nd C is Connection, and this is less about, can I get a connection with my customer and rather, how do I connect with my customer? Because unless you can make an emotional connection with your customer, there’s a very good chance that your product, service or experience will not work. So how are you going to build into the offering itself a way of connecting with your customer?

For example, when Apple created the iPod, MP3 players weren’t really well known and not understandable to many people. By describing it as having a thousand songs in your pocket, it became really relatable and really easy to understand and comprehend and people connected with the idea immediately. So if you’ve created something you think is compelling and you’ve managed to describe it or depict it in a way that connects,..

The last C is Convenient. If it’s not convenient for customers, they won’t do it. Making life too hard for people and expecting them to climb up mountains in order to get your product or service or offering is not going to happen. You’ve got to find the least line of resistance. Unless it’s convenient, however great it is, it won’t fly.

I haven’t met many people in my life who love Amazon. They don’t really exude love, and there’s a lot actually not to like about them, but they are so incredibly convenient that I’m not sure. I know many people that don’t ultimately use them because convenience sells.

So when you are thinking of innovating in your business, think the three Cs. Is it Compelling? How do you Connect and is it Convenient? Because Google were onto something when they were looking at wearables. The wearable market is ever growing, but you want to be less Google glass, which was inconvenient and unnatural and really not compelling in what it gave you and more Apple Watch, which of course is very relatable, very convenient and provides services that your phone doesn’t.

There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English

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  1. Great Post Grant. Like the way you have condensed so much into The 3 C’s

    Only 10 years ago…but had forgotten the fanfare with which Google Glass was introduced…and then axed.

    1. Author

      Thanks Chris. Yes, it wasn’t so long ago that Google Glass made its entrance into the market.

  2. Another great video, Grant – thoroughly enjoyed watching it and makes perfect sense…as always.

    1. Author

      Thank you Mark. I am glad that the video resonated with you.

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