You might have heard something about the era of wearable computers. You might have even heard something about Google Glass and the end of mobile phones. But have you ever heard of the so-called “glassholes?” It’s interesting how much the image of a product and its success or failure might depend on early adopters/lead users.

Check out: What Google “Glassholes” Reveal About Managing Innovation







  • ingenious – characterized by cleverness or originality of invention or construction
  • insight – an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding
  • creep out – to make uncomfortable or afraid; to give someone the creeps
  • obtuse – not quick or alert in perception, feeling, or intellect; not sensitive or observant; dull
  • obnoxious – highly objectionable or offensive; odious
  • liability – something disadvantageous


Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • Who is a “glasshole?”
  • What has the blurring of the distinction between lead users and early adopters led to?
  • What can determine success of a product far more effectively than managing its initial features and flaws?
  • Why did it take more than 10 years for texting to become an acceptable form of communication?
  • What might happen if you’re not “managing your convergent lead users/early adopters with the same care and alacrity that you’re using with your best customers and most talented employees?”


Practice makes perfect


Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

________ digital devices go, Google Glass is ingeniously provocative. But does it also risk ________ innovatively insulting, as well? That fear explains ________ Google is publicly asking its lead users not to behave like “Glassholes”: “Respect others and if they ________ questions about Glass don’t get snappy….” Google recently posted. “If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as ________. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin ________ for other Explorers.”



Fill in the blank spaces with the words in bold.

strangled   –   invited   –   elsewhere   –   catch on   –   cribs

For example, texting arguably took over a decade to ________ in America because it was originally seen and defined as the province of teenagers.  I’ve argued ________ that the entire mobile communications industry was lucky that no tragically sensational auto fatalities caused by inappropriate cellphone use ________ draconian regulation. If spammers had been more successful, social media services like email and LinkedIn might have been ________ in their networked ________.


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