Reports are starting to emerge that the euphoria that was Google Glass might be over, before it started. I'm not that surprised, actually. Try as I might, I simply could not get past the possibility that Glass was just a gimmick, a "solution" in search of a problem.
Glass could be a metaphor for a lot of what goes on in Silicon Valley. The Valley is full of well-intentioned and well-funded engineers who spend their day drinking coffee, standing around white boards, generating ideas (lots of ideas) and writing code—because that it what they are paid to do. While many good ideas have emerged through this process (just imagine what economic productivity might be like if the personal computer and its various descendants had not been created), a reality check is probably needed.
We have become dependent on smart devices and uber-connectedness. Everything has the appearance of being urgent, even if it is not. But what of conversations with people, of long walks along the beach or some quiet walking trail, or of time out to relax and reflect on life? Silicon Valley has brought us to the brink of losing sight of these things that probably matter more than whether we've checked our Facebook account in the last thirty second, or viewed the latest (trivial) Snapchat picture. When I was sitting on the train in London last week, reading a book, I noticed that about 80% of the passengers around me were using their smartphones. One or two others were sleeping. One older man was also reading a book. When he looked up, he smiled at me. No one else did that.
I'm no Luddite, but I do wonder where this Silicon Valley-led journey might be taking us.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.