A neat hybrid between acknowledging it doesn’t really know what to do with a glasses-like heads up display, and a well-tiered, crowdsourced attempt to find out..
Google Glass has plenty of novelty about it. When Google Ventures teamed up with two venture capital firms, KPCB and Andreessen Horowitz, to fund the Google Glass ecosystem, apart from the excitement of wearable computing we also witnessed the emergence of a new kind of business model and a new approach to innovation.
We have seen business ecosystems before. Apple is the classic ecosystem, with tens of thousands of developers producing for its iconic iPhone and iPad products. But Steve Jobs only released an SDK for third party applications for the iPhone in March 2008, 9 months after the phone’s release, and after it was already a clear success.
A new innovation model for other companies to follow:
- Product idea – Consumer heads up displays. Can specialist HUDs, a proven product, be adapted to consumer environment?
- Validation – crowdsourced competition to find out what they might be used for, following high profile publicity campaign for possible hardware product.
- Rapid evaluation of ideas to maintain momentum.
- Ecosystem formation. Select developer community and line up “ecosystem”.
- Financing. Put development funding in place – form venture capital alliance.
- Propose tentative launch date….and iterate public validation with product development.