What Google Glass, Vampires, and Fraternity Scrolls have in common
As a Glass Explorer last week Google allowed me to invite three friends into their beta program. While I’ve seen these invites selling for a few hundred each on eBay, selling them is technically against the TOS (terms of service). However, Google has gone on record to say they will not turn Glasses off just because ownership has been transferred in this way.
I think this exclusivity via ‘invitation only’ has been key so far in building awareness and credibility for Glass. Let’s face it, it’s a rather geeky product, and without the initial exclusivity I wonder how many early adaptors there would be. But then again, geekiness is in fashion, and probably here to stay. Still, I wonder if once Glass hit’s the general market some of this media cache for Glass will be lost, and whether it might not be a better strategy to continue to only offer Glass via an invitation system.
What does all this have to do with Vampires and Fraternity scrolls? Well, as I was trying to choose whom to pass the invites on to I couldn’t help think of the popular Vampire Genre currently in books, TV and movies. The vampires are able to trace their lineage back to when they were first bitten. In these movies when asked “who turned” or “made you?” the vampires proudly recount how a couple hundred years earlier they had met a mysterious stranger who…
Well I couldn’t quite get this picture out of my head as I was trying to decide who to give my invites to. I didn’t want to sell them as I hadn’t bought my invite, so I decided to post a question on my Facebook and LinkedIn page asking if any of my friends were interested. I got about 15 responses right away and picked three at random. Below is our Explorer lineage:
I was invited by my good friend Jake who is in research at LinkedIn (he was among the very first Explorers). I’m passing my invites on to Cara who is in Marketing Strategy at Ann Taylor and whom I can tell from social media takes some beautiful pictures, Bilal from Bain consulting who is interested in understanding their potential application in qualitative and audit based research, and Mark who will be using them for government GIS information related work.
So what about the scroll? Back in college when I joined Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and received my pin, on the back of each pin next to the chapter name was your scroll number, so you could tell exactly how many brothers had been admitted into your chapter before you.
Though I’m not sure exactly what number I am on the “Google Glass scroll”, there are a growing number of Explorers suggesting to Google on the Explorer discussion boards that Google commemorate their addition to the Glass program by posting a G and their # in their Google+ Profile/name. Initially, when Google Glass gave out the first 1,500 invites they were on Glass with the number etched on them (see image below).
Curious to hear your thoughts on Invitation programs and fandom from Disney to Glass?
To Mark, Bilal and Cara, enjoy!
[Full Disclosure: Tom H. C. Anderson is Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, developers of a new patented approach to text analytics. The text analytics software platform is called OdinText]