Flirting with Glass

I'm a social animal. I like tinkering with things, watching the reaction, and learning from observations.

In five years, when Glass and Glass-like technology is commonplace, I will look back on May - December of 2013 as the time when I was among the rare Glass Explorer class. For the next 6 months, I am the .0000001%.

It's my responsibility to abuse this privilege every single day while I can. I have an opportunity to conduct social experiments with Glass and learn things that I could have never learned before. I'll learn more about human psychology regarding first impressions, being told "no", and overcoming negativity in the next six months than most people will learn in a lifetime. Shame on me if I don't capitalize on this opportunity.

Last week in NYC, I hit on dozens of women while wearing Glass for the first time. The results were inline with my expectations. About 80% of women were initially quite turned off by the device. I didn't discriminate by age or appearance: I talked to college girls, cougars, groups of 2-8 women, yuppies, executives, women in formal night gowns, hipsters, and women that I wouldn't normally hit on if I was sincerely looking for a date.

Most of the 80% immediately assumed I was recording them. I wasn't. I wouldn't. I respect the difference between casual social experiments and violating people's privacy.

Of the 80%, I was able to convince about 25% of them that Glass wasn't as creepy or weird as they initially thought. Those conversations were the most fun of the evening because I "won." I witnessed a change of heart over the course of 10 minutes. That's the ultimate display of salesmanship and perseverance. Persuading someone of a vastly different opinion that your opinion is right is incredibly satisfying, even if there's no financial benefit.

About 20% of women found the device to be quite intriguing. They wanted to know more about it and try it on. I let them. Everyone thought it was one of the coolest thing they had ever used.

For the immediate future, the next 2-3 weeks, I don't expect these ratios to change, even in Austin (relative to Manhattan). As more Glass Explorers receive their units and people have a chance to see and understand what the device is, perhaps the ratios will change. I'm inclined to believe that people will come to accept Glass more over time: once people know that you can't record when the screen is off, hopefully the severe and immediate negative reactions will subside.

Cheers to learning from strangers.