Google Glass Might Be Google’s Most Successful Failure Yet

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By Jacob Maslow

Google Glass
A man is seen wearing Google Glass at the premiere of ‘The Internship’ at the Regency Village Westwood on May 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California

Google is not a stranger to failed projects. You remember Google Buzz, right? Google Buzz was supposed to be the Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) killer. This initiative was supposed to pull the rug out from under Facebook and cement Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) as a powerful player in the social networking space. It didn’t happen. Instead, Google mothballed Buzz. Google has rolled out Google Plus but Google Plus is nowhere near being as big, influential, and commercially powerful as Facebook.

The truth is, Google is caught between a rock in a hard place. It knows itself, its limitations, and its base. It knows all these things, and it’s scared. The truth is if you strip out all the hype and buzz regarding Google’s innovation and technology-friendly environment, it’s an advertising company. That’s all there is to it. That’s the soul of the company. That’s what puts bread on its table and gets its shareholders excited. It’s all about advertising. The Google search engine is really just a means to get people to go to a page and look at ads. Keep it simple.

Google knows this. This is why Google Glass was born. Google Glass was really Google’s moonshot. It was a very public declaration of Google’s commitment to spend however much money and to develop technology however long it may take that would cement Google’s future. Google Glass fell flat on its face. It has effectively died on a practical basis. I don’t think there’s any debate regarding that. It’s no longer an official source of potential profits for Google. It’s just one of those projects that died.

I would argue, however, that Google Glass and the way Google handled Google Glass are a positive indication that this company is going places. Google needs to take more moonshots. Google needs to keep pushing the envelope as far as technology is concerned because it knows the fundamental nature of the technology industry. If you’re a technology company, you’re like a shark. A shark has to keep moving or die. That’s right: When a shark stops moving, it begins to die. That’s the reality of technology companies. Google knows this. As much as haters like to make a big deal about Google being humbled by Google Glass, instead, I say that Google Glass’ failure is a cause for celebration.

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