“This is the perfect example of how Google’s design and product philosophy can fail,” says Johnson. “The company had this kind of incredible idea of augmented reality where you could put data in front of you sort of while you’re going through life. And we’ve been imagining this since, what, the first Terminator movie?”
When Google Glass came out, it wasn’t a fully developed product. Google delivered the technology, tethered it to your phone and expected people to make stuff for it. It was controversial, expensive and raised concerns about privacy. “I think it was a misstep for the company,” Johnson says, “I think they should have developed it in-house, as Apple would have done.
“I mean, think about Steve Jobs when he released the iPhone. That piece of hardware was so perfectly finished. It was ready for prime time and everybody who touched it became an evangelist,” Johnson says. “Everybody who touched the Glass did not become an evangelist, and I think that was part of the problem for the company.”