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Tech Needs TV

GoogleTV: “More Returns than Sales” (Logitech)

Posted by Doug Garnett November - 11 - 2011 - Friday

I was skeptical of GoogleTV. It seemed Google fell prey to corporate hubris – believing they could build anything and make the marketplace think it’s valuable.

And from the start Google revealed they had no coherent strategy to deliver value to consumers. Instead, announcements made it clear they were in a desperate ploy to steal ad revenue away from traditional TV.

Trying to create something from nothing, Google claimed that you’d love web searching for TV programs – and it would be soooo much easier than changing a channel, choosing from your TiVO, or looking at an onscreen TV guide. Right.

Now we find that even Google’s partners are badmouthing the effort (link here). According to Logitech, the product’s are so buggy they’ve taken more returns than they have sold. Yikes.

And this week, Logitech’s CEO suggested their Google TV-powered launch was “a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature”.

Other tech companies should take note. Too bad the various Silicon landscapes (valley, forest, desert,…) seem impervious to finding significant learning from failure of consumer products.

In part, success selling to businesses far too often convinces technologists they can succeed with consumers, too. But the marketing required for consumer success is far, far different from the marketing that leads to success with businesses.

Most critically, successful consumer products MUST offer significant value – and consumer’s won’t work very hard to find it. That requires developing a clear eyed vision that can tell the difference between important and insignificant value. And it requires that companies become sophisticated at ways to tell consumers about that value. Google failed at both.

Truth is, Google’s announcements of its TV work have been from Shakespearean — “full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”

The lack of coverage of GoogleTV suggests the press wants so badly for the anti-TV story to succeed they’re willing to ignore reality. Still, GoogleTV’s hollowness reminds us of Eliot – “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Copyright 2011 – Doug Garnett – All Rights Reserved

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Doug Garnett, DRTV and Technology Industry Expert

Doug Garnett is founder and CEO of DRTV agency Atomic Direct and a leading expert on innovative uses of DRTV, infomercials and other in-depth TV and non-TV messages to build brand and drive sales.

Doug has been working in and around the technology field for 27 years. After starting in aerospace, he spent 5 years selling and marketing supercomputers. Since shifting to advertising, his clients have included AT&T, IBM, Apple, Disney Mobile, Ugobe, Presto, and Netpliance.

Doug sits on the editorial board of Response Magazine, is an adjunct professor of general advertising at Portland State University, and is a member of the Jordan-Whitney Greensheet Panel.

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