Last year, Google Glass’ beta took a lot of spotlight for its workplace applications (e.g. the doctor who performed a live surgery while presenting them to students and colleagues seven miles away). Others included teachers who saw the potential in presentations for students, technicians in oil fields, and even the military’s own development of similar technology.
And as of last April 15th, Google had announced that Cotton (the white-framed version of Google Glass) sold out in just a single day. This just further proved how many users aimed to utilize and improve the device for future developments.
Is Glass the only technology entitled to this type of testing though?
Glass has been proven helpful for video conferences, presentations, data mining, and monitoring by making those functions more hands-free. It couldn’t have done that though if the folks at Google didn’t put themselves in the same shoes as their target customers.
No piece of technology is widely accepted as long as people fear something that’s not entirely in touch with their own experience.
While there are those who are just wide open to the potential of any new technology, they’re not most people. Most prospects would like to stick to what they are used to, things that many in the tech industry might even label as relics. Other times they’re wary of early hiccups and don’t like the publicity it generated in spite of improvements.
One aspect of this negative publicity is lack of cultural respect. It’s odd but important to mention because it just brings us back to putting yourself in a prospect’s shoes.
In the case of Glass for instance, it’s something that should often be worn, not hung around your neck or laid on top of your head like sunglasses. What happens when you go into an office or meet with someone who demands the removal of similar items as a sign of respect? Will this cause tension for the user? Would anyone want to sit down with them at lunch?
What’s seen as cool and intriguing in a tech-rich culture can be obviously rude in other organizations. In some companies, there are those still dominated by a traditional, corporate hierarchy that seems like the generational grandfather to the companies residing in Silicon Valley.
In one culture, morning rituals consist of waking up to smartphones and unplugging them from the chargers after a night of downloads/uploads. In another, they’re still picking up the paper and packing the briefcase. Which one do you think is more likely to adapt the likes of Google Glass?
What habits do you think they’ll develop when they adopt? Will they just glance at a message on-screen but dismiss it until they walk into the building? Driving with Glass has been the subject of much controversy after all.
Putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes might sound like standard procedure in IT sales and lead generation. But given the mixed reception of every innovation, it seems like it’s more often preached than practiced.