The Romans had a phrase for it: Ars est celare artem. That is: "The art is to conceal the art." When you're doing something really difficult in public with the intent of gaining attention, don't let on how difficult it is to do. You don't hear guitarists saying "OK, this riff is really hard" ahead of the hit song. Actors don't say "it's hell learning these lines, watch this" before they appear as Hamlet. That's because people generally don't want to know how difficult it is to do something; they just want to see the results. This is what came to mind when Charles Arthur of the UK Guardian considered the contrast between Google Glass and the Apple Watch.
Here are two giants of the technology industry, with respected worldwide brands; they vie for top position among the best-known and most-valued technology brands. And they're both moving into the wearable technology space.
Google has done it with the emphasis on technology. That sounded great – until people actually tried Glass. Yet once they got past saying "I'm wearing Glass!" that there wasn't much to say. The BBC's correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones did a six-week deep dive of wearing Glass almost constantly, and concluded by calling it a "fascinating failure", adding that it lacks the sheer usefulness that would have made it a must-have device for the masses.
In the same vein, PC Magazine's John Dvorak wrote an article last week titled "Rest in Peace, Google Glass: 2012-2014," saying that "It is time to just kiss this little product goodbye, for good."
Arthur continues by stating that for all that Glass packs in – lots of marvellous technology – it doesn't try to hide it. The Apple Watch, by contrast, tucks probably as much technology into it, yet tries instead to hide it.
In the end, Charles Arthur of the Guardian thinks that the Apple Watch will outsell Google Glass inside of the first month. Why? Simply because it doesn't try to be technology – it tries to be wearable. The art of selling technology is to hide the technology. Even a Roman could have told you that.
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