Google X's "Captain of Moonshots," Astro Teller, recently spoke about the Google Glass and how the company overhyped the product when it really should have downplayed the product in order to discourage people from thinking of it as a finished product.
Teller also spoke about how the usually secretive company is opening up about its products earlier than it has in the past.
"We did things that encouraged people to think this was a finished product," said Teller at SXSW. "We could have done a better job of communicating that [but] I'm not sorry about those bumps and scrapes."
Google X is known for its "moonshots," or projects that might not have a market now but could eventually be very influential. This division of Google has been known for keeping these under wraps until they are almost complete, but even then it treats the projects as a work-in-progress.
Among these projects are Project Loon, which is a project started by Google to bring Internet access to those who don't have it. It basically works through weather balloons, which are able to project Wi-Fi signal to those below. Of course, while it might benefit the users of the Internet, Google also benefits quite a bit through more people being online because of the fact that it makes its money through advertising.
The Google Glass, however, has been perhaps the most high-profile project to come out of Google X so far. Glass is essentially an augmented reality headset that allows users to view notifications and perform certain tasks. It works largely via voice control.
Teller clearly thinks that in marketing the program, Google made a mistake. Google never intended to bring Glass to the mass market, but the company marketed it like a finished product, even eventually allowing people from the general public to buy Glass for $1,500. Through the program, Google mostly wanted to learn about social norms and what they would and wouldn't be with the use of Glass.
Despite this, the Google X boss sees its failures as a way to learn rather than simply failures.
"You make a ton of progress by making a ton of mistakes," continued Teller. "The longer you work on something, the more you don't really want to know what the world is going to tell you. The longer you put off that learning, you will unconsciously put off that news because it is disheartening to hear that what you have been working on is not working."