In this assignment, it will be separated into 2 parts. First part will be talking about the Google Glass and the case background, followed by the discussion of feasible application of Google based on Google Glass. The multi-dimensional concept of Google Glass development will also being discussed in detailed in the first part. After that, second part of this assignment will be talk about the dilemma and the difficulty of managing uncertainty in the Google Company. The organizational characteristic of Google will also being discussed in deep to understand how its facilitate innovation process in the company.
Google Glass was created by the Google Inc., which hosting one of the most popular search engine in the world that allow every users to look for whatever information that available in the world wide web. (Karch, 2015) Google was founded on 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin with mission of “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Larry Page was the first CEO in Google Inc. until 2001 and enabled the company to grow profitability and employed more than 200 employees. On later, year 2001 to 2011, Larry has becomes the president of products in the company and the CEO position was passed to Eric E. Schmidt. Whereas, another co-founder, Sergey Brin served as a present of technology from year 2001 to 2011 and now he works to direct special projects in the company. (Google, 2015) Google create many category of software products as well as hardware.
Some popular and well-known software that Google produced would be the Google Web Search which allowed users to search billions of web pages available in the World Wide Web, Google Chrome which is a simple and fast web browser, Google Maps which allowed users to view maps and navigate and more. (Google, 2015) Other than that, Google also provide business solution on and off the web to mainly support the entrepreneurs and publishers. The solutions provided by Google are basically are Google My Business which allow the business to being easily searched with correct information, Google AdWords and Analytics that helps in advertising and business and more. (Google, 2015) Google is also very active in creating hardware and the hardware that involved with google are mostly very creative and innovative.
Google has taken part in building smartphone and Project Ara is one of them. The Project Ara is basically a project to create the smartphone that enabled customizability on its hardware depends on users’ preference. Other than that, Google also took part in automobile which they created the prototype of self-driving car which enabled the car to being total controlled by artificial intelligence. The target product discussion of this assignment, Google Glass is also one of the most popular hardware products that Google has implemented. (McCormick, 2014)
Based on the given case study, the Google Glass has been made to assist users in daily life with a small screen with 640 x 360 display, camera, touchpad and more that embedded into a spectacle frames. The users can basically take photos/videos and extend the functionality of smart phones. The users can control the functions of the Google Glass by voice command or via the touchpad that embedded at one side of the spectacle frames. Google has launched the Google Glass Explorer Program on nearly 2 years back and it has been officially ended on January 2015. (McGee, 2015)
The Explorer Program is aimed to obtain user feedback from the users and now the program has been shut down, which means now the Google Glass “Explorer Edition” will be no longer available in the market and new project leader has been assigned to manage the project as a new form of unit in the company. (Cristo, 2015) This means that the development of Google Glass has not truly ends but it is currently under transition in the company and it could be another phase of development or implementation.
Ongoing Corporate Planning
A corporate plan is a company primary planning tool that provide the framework that will be used to develop the company strategies, objectives and work practices. (Department of Treasury and Finance, 2014) As Google is well-known as a web search engine in the world and produces a lot of software products as mentioned earlier, this could basically assumed that the core business of Google would be major in online software. At the recent time, Google has actively took part in hardware creation such as Chromecast, smartphones, Google Glass and more. (McCormick, 2014)
Therefore, the project of Google Glass is basically getting away from their core business as the company’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. (Google, 2015) The existence of Google Glass might seems to be unclear due to it is not related to the company core business and therefore, the senior management of the company should have make clearer objective or achievement about Google Glass so that it could create a clear expectation to the customers. Otherwise, the product might falls into failure as the customers is not ready to accept such creativity.
Ongoing Market Planning
Ongoing marketing planning could use prevents company reputation downfall and secure company’s future. (Archer, 2015) Therefore, Google should greatly utilize this planning to ensure Google Glass could reach to target market’s customers’ expectation. Although Google Glass is available with few choices of color, but it would have failed in fashion due to poorly designed hardware. (Strauss, 2013) This could be really important as the Glass is a wearable device and the customers would be wearing it on the street. Some people even comment it makes people looks “dorky” or “like a huge cyborg”. (Strauss, 2013) (Cristo, 2015) Other than that, the case has mentioned that there are rumors about Apple, Microsoft and more are getting into working on creating similar devices.
This could be a real threat to Google Glass because the Glass is still haven’t really ready to being available in the market and it basically still under development. The device might be examined in deep by the competitors and the market could be grabbed by the competitors if they are able to achieve the market earlier. Although Google has announced the product years ago and it still under development with prototype that previously available in the market, Google might have failed in market planning as it has took too much time in development and at the same time, Google might not know how is the competitors working on the similar device but their prototype was already exposed in the market.
Ongoing Technology Management
As mentioned, the Google Glass Explorer Program has been started around 2 years ago and ended recently. (McGee, 2015) The device could be considered as prototype that aimed to get users feedback by selling the device to the people. By this way, the technology management might causes failure to the device development as the prototype device could have been alert the competitors. The competitors might have taken this advantage to examine the prototype and come out with a relatively competitive product that against the Google Glass.
Google would have taken advantages of unexpected discoveries. As mentioned, Google has launched the Google Glass Explorer Program around 2 years ago and invited a lot of “explorer” to buy their prototype, test and give feedback about the Glass. (McGee, 2015) Although now the program has already ended, but the company has get new leader to take over the project and this will continue the Google Glass development. This situation could expected that the information gotten from the 2 years program has been enough to let the evolution of current version of Google Glass to happen.
Table below shows the Ansoff Matrix that represent the possible growth strategy for Google based on Google Glass.
Advertise and promote Google Glass to let more people know about it. Make promotion price or special offer to attract more people to know about Google Glass. Introduce special price for those people who took part in the Google Glass Explorer Program before.
Redesign the Google Glass hardware to make it more fashionable. Improve the functionality of Google Glass to make it less depends on smartphones. Improve on Google Glass battery life to make it more usable.
Exploit into different geographical market.
Target to larger group of customers.
Create different version of Google Glass to fit and achieve more target market. (QuickMBA, 2010)
This segment is about trying to sell more of the same items in the same market. (Mind Tools, 2015) In here, the consideration would be about improve the marketing strategy such as advertisement and promotion to attract more customers to get to know or buy the Google Glass. Letting people know how great the product could perform and giving out some discounts would definitely help in achieving higher sales and achieve larger market share. However, in the current situation, this consideration will be abandoned due to the Google Glass Explorer Program has been ended and the Google Glass has no longer available to purchase until new version is coming out. (McGee, 2015)
This segment is about trying to achieve higher sales by targeting or achieving new market. (Mind Tools, 2015) In here, due to Google Glass is only available to being purchase in US or UK, the company could try to exploit into other country such as China and Thailand to achieve larger market. This is because these countries are considered as huge market due to its geographical area and therefore, bigger market share could be achieve by exploit the Google Glass into these large market. Other than that, targeting the product to larger group of customer such as university students or office employee might able to help in further extend the market exploitation of Google Glass. However, as mentioned that currently Google Glass is not available to purchase, this consideration has to be wait until new version coming out. (McGee, 2015)
This segment is about create more product for the same portion of target market. (Mind Tools, 2015) Due to in the same portion of market would have potential customers from different background, gender, preference and more, the development of new product might be a great consideration to Google. Therefore, Google can create different version of Google Glass to suit different needs. As Google Glass Explore Program has recently ended and Google Glass has no longer available due to internal alteration on the Google Glass project, this might be a very good opportunity for the company to make great improvement by create a whole new version of Google Glass. (McGee, 2015) Google can make improvement such as enhance the hardware designs, enhance battery life and more that would make the Google Glass to being more attractive to the customers.
This portion is about create more different product for different target market. (Mind Tools, 2015) This consideration would be suitable to the current situation of Google Glass project in the company because the project is currently expected under evolution. (McGee, 2015) However, this consideration would be very risky due to the Google Glass is a whole new technology that going to be available in the market and limited information will be available to enable the possibility of creating more version of Google Glass to fit into more different market.
Multidimensional Concept of Google Glass
As mentioned, Google is a well-known web search engine in the world where Google Glass carry the name of “Google” with it makes the brand name strong as Google has very high reputation. Besides, Google produces a lot of popular tools such as Google Maps and Google Translate which could make a lot of attraction to most of the people as the Google products has been widely used in the world. (Karch, 2015)
As mentioned in the case, Google Glass has built in camera that can take 5MP pictures and video in 720p, mooted 640 x 360 display, built in 16GB flash memory, built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip, adjustable nose pad, touchpad, micro USB port and bone conduct transfer. The specification of the Google Glass has almost similar to those smart phone in the market. (Google, 2015)
As mentioned in the case, the price of Google Glass Explorer would be $1500 which considered expensive. However, this edition is never meant for hitting to the market but just merely for a beta run to gain feedbacks and develop the real product for the big market in the future. (Cristo, 2015)
Due to current Google Glass Explorer edition is just for beta testing and feedback, the packaging of the product is never seems to be a real big deal at the moment. Therefore, this element would not be an important consideration until the next version or the real product hit to the market.
As mentioned in the case, the Google Glass is able to take photo and video, connect to smartphone and use Google Maps for navigation, use Google Hangout to make video conference, voice command and touch controls, translation and apps supports. Google has also offers MyGlass app to allow the user to pair the Glass with smartphone as headset so that the user can control major functions in the phone.
As mentioned in the case, Google Glass has been implemented with Bone-Induction Technology. This technology works to vibrate the user skull to create sound which would greatly reduce the issues from traditional headphones. Other than that are all usual technology that very familiar in the market such as voice command technology, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more.
Level of Service
Google accept returns and refund within 30 days from delivery or physical pick-up of device with confirmation of no major damage on the device. Other than that, Google also offers 1 year warranty for the device against the defections found on the device and workmanship under ordinary consumer use. (Google, 2015)
Dilemma of Google in Innovation Management
Google has been considered as one of the most innovative companies in the world. Google has always been focusing on the individual ability of innovation and provide great freedom for innovation to happen in the company. (Steiber, 2014) Google encourage innovation by implementing the “20% rule”, which allow the employee to spend one day in a week to a side project. (Gersch, 2013) However, there have been always a problem in the management, which is: how to sustain innovation. (Dans, 2013) Google has been created a lot of successful product together with some failure such as Google Buzz, Google Answer and more. (Bulygo, 2015) And now, Google has also actively take part in building the hardware empire with a lot of innovative hardware project such as the self-driving cars, Chromecast, Google Glass and more. (McCormick, 2014)
The dilemma found in the company is that Google has only one great business unit. The business unit mentioned is not flexible enough to form new business units. (Fuller, 2012) From here, the company believe that innovation has been very important as they always encourage that. However, the dilemma forms here is that how should the great innovation should put to allow the company to gain profits. As the company has only existed with one great business unit with its name, it would be not flexible enough to take in so much innovative idea and make every idea possible to make profits. The ideas will need to be allocated into separated business unit to provide the flexibility and focus to make sure the idea works. (Fuller, 2012)
High Uncertainty About Output
4. Application Engineering
Low Uncertainty About Output
3. Product Development
2. Development Engineering
Low Uncertainty About Process
High Uncertainty About Process
(Barnes & Conti Associates, 2001)
In this quadrant, the activities involved here are consisting high degree of uncertainty about the clear objectives and how to achieve the objectives. (McLernon, 2013) As Google as always encourages innovation in the company, a lot of innovative ideas could be found. In this situation, the difficulty would be causes by the uncertainty such as which idea would be the most innovative to being focused on, which should be able to bring more profits and more. Exploratory research has to be done to explore the idea in order to identify which would be the most beneficial one. (McLernon, 2013)
The activity existed in this quadrant will be low uncertainty about the objective but high uncertainty in how to achieve the objective. (McLernon, 2013) Google might face the difficulty where they has notice the main target to achieve, however, there are many different ways or approaches to achieve the target. In this case, development engineering could be adopt to identify the best method to achieve the target. (McLernon, 2013)
This quadrant consists of low uncertainty of objective and the process to achieve the objectives. (McLernon, 2013) After Google has been allocated a clear objective and the method to achieve the objective, it will be the time to make moves to start the development based on the market opportunities and the capabilities of the company. (McLernon, 2013) The possible difficulty here would be the condition of the market and the internal ability of the company to complete the development. This is because these factors is hard to control and it will decide the final output or performance of the innovative idea.
High uncertainty about the objective and low uncertainty about the method to achieve the target would be existed in the activity in this quadrant. (McLernon, 2013) Google might falls into the difficult situation where they has the ability to achieve all the existing innovative idea but not knowing which to start with. In this situation, application engineering could be adopted to see if which would be the way that could possibly the most effective method to develop the ideas into reality.
Every organization would have different characteristic that facilitate the innovation process. The organization characteristic of Google would consist of commitment to technology and R&D intensity. This is because Google is basically a huge IT company which active in both software and hardware creations, the company has works to produce a lot of software tools such as Google Maps, Google Web Search and more. (Google, 2015) In hardware sector, Google has took part in creating the self-driving cars, Google Glass, Project Ara and more. (McCormick, 2014) This shows that Google has always been committed to technology and Research and Development of new products.
Other than that, Google also has the characteristic of risk acceptance. Google has been actively encourages innovative ideas. In the process, Google has also comes out with failure products such as Google Buzz, Google Reader and more which have been shut down. (Bulygo, 2015) However, Google is still continuously encourages new innovation and this shows that the company is widely accept risks. As Google has always encourages employees to being innovative and even implemented “20% rule” to allow the employees to have 1 day in a week to work on side projects. (Gersh, 2013) This could shows that the company has the characteristic to create space for creativity to the employees and has strategy towards innovation.
As a conclusion, Google Glass and its case background has been discussed in deep followed by its feasible application consideration such as ongoing corporate planning, ongoing market planning and more. Ansoff Matrix has also being used to further analyze the possible growth strategy for Google based on Google Glass. The matrix consist of total 4 elements which are Market Penetration, Market Development, Product Development and Diversification. As a result, Product Development will be the suggestion to be implemented due to the current situation of the company is encouraging that particular element.
Multidimensional concept of Google Glass which made out of 7 elements has also being identified and described. The innovation dilemma of Google has also being identified which is about the flexibility of the business unit in Google does not support all innovation ideas. The Person’s Uncertainty Map has also being utilized to understand the different perspectives of uncertainty that would be existed in the company. The characteristics that facilitate the innovation process in Google has also being identified which are included commitment to technology and R&D intensity, risk acceptance, has space for creativity and has strategy towards innovation.
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