Connected Ideas_tech

Saving big ticket projects like Google Glass with collaborative innovation

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I read some interesting comments about the much publicised “failure” of Google Glass  from Google’s Innovation Chief Astro Teller this week from the legendary SWSW festival, courtesy of Seb Joseph at The Drum. In a nutshell he explains that the innovation team encouraged too much attention for the wearable technology and that they “did things which encouraged people to think of this as a finished product”.

Connected Ideas_tech

These comments raised two things for me. The first being that I don’t think encouraging attention towards a new idea or product is necessarily a bad thing, particular if it drives excitement and adoption! It is, however vital to harness this attention to drive the idea or product forwards in a positive way, particularly if it is not a “done deal” or completed project.

Casting the net wide to gather opinion, advice and suggestions from outside of your usual inner circle can prove to be a real asset. As well all know, when you’ve been working on a project consistently for a substantial period of time it can be hard to see the wood for the trees and be objective.

Our own Idea Spotlight is designed specifically to this end, allowing businesses to share a new concept with stakeholders (such as employees, experts and partners) to capture their feedback and insights, evaluate, prioritise them and make any necessary changes to the original concept. Although not a giant of the tech world, Hackney Council has been using it to crowdsource ideas to improve the lives of young people in the London borough. You can read more about it here.

This leads me on to my second point, being that ideas and concepts should constantly be evolving; particularly in today’s fast-paced world, where agility and fresh-thinking is key to success. Again, by encouraging ongoing feedback from stakeholders, or at specific stages of concept development, businesses can ensure they refine their offerings so that they are constantly meeting the needs of their target audience.

Given that wearables are still fairly early on in their journey, having yet to meet mass adoption, and demand is only going to increase – I think there is definitely scope for products like Google Glass. Rather than shelve big ticket projects like these at the first sniff of trouble, organisations should instead be opening up the doors of communication to encourage constructive criticism from outside of their usual realms.

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