Glasses that made Google short-sighted: Writer explores how change occurs and why it typically fails – together with the tech firm’s specs

  • Damon Centola has penned a thought-provoking guide about how change works 
  • When Google Glass was debuted in 2013, it turned a monumental flop
  • Writer suggests it was attributable to a failure to know the science of networks 
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CHANGE: HOW TO MAKE BIG THINGS HAPPEN   

by Damon Centola (John Murray £20 352 pp)

In 2013, Google got here up with what they thought could be a game-changing invention. Google Glass was a pair of specs that gave wearers direct entry to the web in addition to the power to work together with their environment.

The concept ought to have been an enormous success: an progressive product, backed by Google’s huge advertising and marketing assets. In actual fact, it was a monumental flop. What occurred?

Damon Centola believes he is aware of: everyone heard about Google Glass, however the one individuals carrying the specs had been techies. And as an alternative of use spreading from these early adopters to the populace, the populace determined the techies had been bizarre.

Damon Centola has penned a book about how change works and why it often fails. Pictured: Demonstration of Google Glass

Damon Centola has penned a guide about how change works and why it typically fails. Pictured: Demonstration of Google Glass

The glasses didn’t make customers aspire to personal them. Fairly the reverse. Folks even got here up with a impolite phrase to explain those that wore them — ‘Glassholes’. In Centola’s view, the failure of Google Glass was a failure to know social networks. ‘The science of networks,’ he writes in his thought-provoking guide, ‘is the examine of how issues unfold. How do the connections we share with individuals round us have an effect on the way in which that … concepts, traits, and behaviours transfer by communities and societies all over the world?’

And networks don’t all the time work within the methods we anticipate. We don’t essentially take heed to early adopters and social influencers. In terms of altering behaviour, we’re most certainly to take heed to individuals like us. If we’re unfit and wish to get fitter, we’re going to take recommendation from those that can run a mile with out breaking right into a sweat, aren’t we? Incorrect, in keeping with Centola.

In an experiment he performed himself, he discovered the precise reverse. Unfit people had been more likely to undertake a method designed to enhance health in the event that they heard about it from somebody who was huffing and puffing by their morning train as a lot as they had been.

For any drawback in society, it’s not all the time tough to provide you with an answer. It’s convincing individuals to utilize it that’s laborious work.

CHANGE: HOW TO MAKE BIG THINGS HAPPEN by Damon Centola (John Murray £20 352 pp)

CHANGE: HOW TO MAKE BIG THINGS HAPPEN by Damon Centola (John Murray £20 352 pp)

The very best methodology, Centola argues, is to utilize the insights gained from learning social networks. If we wish extra individuals to undertake solar energy, as an example, it’s not nearly informing them of its advantages, or providing monetary incentives.

In Japan, a examine confirmed that the strongest predictor of whether or not individuals would set up photo voltaic panels was the variety of others within the neighbourhood who had already finished so. The problem is to search out the tipping level at which change takes maintain.

Centola’s guide covers all kinds of subjects: the influence of a San Francisco earthquake on the early progress of Twitter; how Korean villagers had been transformed to contraception; why the Qwerty keyboard has triumphed over higher designed rivals; whether or not the fist bump will exchange the handshake; and plenty of extra.

It’s a captivating account of how change works and why it so typically fails.

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