The Big Questions Hiding Behind Google’s PR Stunts
The late – and forgive my enthusiastic cliché – very great Steve Jobs once told Google founder Larry Page to “Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It's now all over the map. What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest because they're dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft.”
Years later, I can’t help but agree more than ever before. Self-driving cars, “Project Glass”, Android, Chrome, Google+, YouTube, the ever-evolving, 700-product suite included with any Google account, and, oh yeah, the search engine that began the business all beg a question: What is Google trying to become? More importantly – will they succeed in getting there or (as Jobs said) become the next Microsoft?
Let’s look at Project Glass:
Back in June, Google debuted Project Glass. During their annual I/O developer’s conference, the company hired skydivers to plummet into San Francisco’s SOMA district and the Moscone convention center while sporting experimental augmented-reality eyewear. Some hailed it as one of the best marketing stunts to date. Others found it over the top. I’m with the latter.
Now, Glass has made its way to New York’s fashion week – after all, it is eyewear. Check out the video below of DVF designer Diane Von Furstenberg and her models sporting Glass on the runway and shooting some cool video along the way.
But, as an everyday consumer in a world in which we spend hours of our day looking at computer screens of all kinds, do you see yourself rocking a computer on your face to check out reviews of a restaurant or shoot first-person video? We can do that on our phones.
PR: Perception vs. Reality –
In the world of technology – perception is reality. Regardless of true reality, it’s a PR person’s job to create the perception that products and companies are the future. Sometimes it takes true innovation and a simple Apple style press event. For others, it takes skydivers and supermodels.
Let’s be honest - Glass will not be the next revolution in electronics and self-driving cars will not become the norm.
When you strip away the stunts and hype – Google is one of the best software companies on the planet. That’s the image the Internet giant should aim to build. If Google continues to spread itself too thin, the company will eventually create the perception of another scattered giant trying to stay relevant… Microsoft.