Change is Good — Don’t Let Naysayers Tell You Otherwise


I’ve been watching with great interest over the past few weeks as the naysayers seem to have gone crazy overboard trying to bash Google Glass every chance they can. I’ve seen articles in Wired and on CNN and on blogs, etc., all stating how terrible Google Glass is. Oh no! Geeky white dudes are wearing Google Glass! This will never work! Oh no, someone wore a pair into the shower! Oh no, I will punch someone in the face if they try talk to me with them on — all sorts of gibberish.

There’s nothing like change to bring out the absolute haters.

It seems like every time something comes out that represents change, people freak the f**k out. It’s not enough to say, “Oh no, this thing is not for me.” People have to go absolutely overboard, talking about how horrible some new thing is for everybody else.

I remember when I waited in line overnight (with my pal Robert Scoble, probably today’s biggest Google Glass cheerleader) for the very first iPhone. Robert’s son Patrick was the very first person to buy an iPhone at the Palo Alto store.

First in Line Patrick Scoble Interviewed by CNBC

First in Line Patrick Scoble Interviewed by CNBC

I’m not sure I’d ever been mocked by people so much. “You waited in line overnight to pay how much?” For a stupid phone? People thought the iPhone was the dumbest thing ever. “Why would you ever need a phone to surf the web?” “Why would you pay so much for a phone?”

They laughed at me for camping out overnight to get the first generation phone — even though camping out overnight in front of an Apple store has been one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. Getting to hear Apple luminaries like Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Atkinson talk about Apple’s early days was a blast! It’s where I first met the awesome guys from SmugMug. Was it dorky and geeky? Sure, but whatever.

Stories with Bill Atkinson

Stories with Bill Atkinson

Read some of these early quotes about the iPhone when it first came out. Even though some of us loved it early, so many more were so “doom and gloom” on it. Now, of course, everybody loves the iPhone and the whole generation of Android and other smartphones that followed.

I remember when Twitter first came out. People hated that too. “Twitter is still a fad, and according to a study out today, it looks like it’s popularity may soon fade,” wrote BusinessWeek.

People constantly mocked Twitter — “Who wants to read a dumb post about what someone had for breakfast,” they’d say. I hopped on Twitter right away while so many of my friends refused to join. Those same friends now complain about how everybody else has more followers than they do.

The same naysayers took umbrage with Google+. Despite being named earlier this week as the second largest social network, the “change is bad” crowd hated Google+ when it came out. How many articles out there were written about Google+ being a ghost town? My good friend Trey Ratcliff passed 5 million followers on Google+ earlier this morning. That sure is an awful lot of ghosts if you ask me.


I’m having the best time on Google+. I’ve met some of the most talented and interesting photographers in the world, I’ve been on tons of great live hangouts and photowalks, and it’s been the best designed social network I’ve ever been a part of. I’m glad I joined it the first day it was available to the public.

When one of my heroes, William Eggleston, had the first color photography show at MOMA in New York, a lot of people hated that too. Many people called it the most hated fine art photography show ever. Ansel Adams, the most famous photographer in the world at the time, even wrote a letter to MOMA curator, John Szarkowski, trashing the change that Eggleston represented.

Now everybody loves Eggleston and color photography is firmly established as a photographic fine art aesthetic. Just last month the Independent called him the world’s greatest living photographer.

A set of Eggleston prints sold for $5.9 million at auction in 2012

A set of Eggleston prints sold for $5.9 million at auction in 2012

I remember when I first started posting my photos online at Flickr back in 2004, their first year in existence. So many photographers gave me a hard time. They kept going on and on about how my photos would be “stolen.” “Who the hell cares,” I’d answer back. Now everybody posts their photos online, everywhere — well, almost everybody.

So what is it about Google Glass, the iPhone, Twitter, Google+, color photography, photo sharing that scare people so much? What is it that brings out the naysayers and haters?

It’s simple: most people hate change. Most people fear change. Most people hope the world around them never changes and turns into something else. They are afraid that change will take their job, or their income, or somehow hurt them.

A lot of these people are also lazy. They groan about having to learn a new thing or technology. They worry they will be left behind. So it’s easier for these people to bash whatever is new and interesting and jump on the anti-change bandwagon.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass

As far as Google Glass goes, I have no idea if it’s going to be a hit or not. I do think it represents an interesting new tool to use for street photography and I’m excited about trying them out myself at some point.

I think it’s dumb though to see article after article by scared people trying to talk the rest of the world out of them. Articles that try to paint them as dorky or geeky or creepy. These are just more of the same old complainers/haters who hate every new thing that comes along.

Change is good. Don’t let the naysayers tell you otherwise. The next time somebody brings up some new idea, check yourself. Instead of immediately starting to bash it, resist that urge and keep an open mind. Every so often you just might be surprised.

Oh, and personally speaking, I think journalists that like to bash change are far, far, dorkier than bloggers who like to take showers with their Google Glass on.

About the author: Thomas Hawk is a photographer and blogger based in San Francisco. Visit his website here. This article originally appeared here.

Image credits: Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin by Thomas Hawk, Patrick Scoble by Thomas Hawk, Stories with Bill Atkinson by Thomas Hawk, Memphis (Tricycle) by William Eggleston/Eggleston Artistic Trust

  • Mansgame

    I like these glasses. It lets me spot a douche bag a mile away and avoid them at all cost.

  • 11

    oh no. I still dont like em. good try though.

  • bob cooley

    lol.. You and I don’t always agree on here – but in this we are in total agreement.

  • Gerardo

    Is not that I don’t like change. Is that right now they have a long way to go before they are worth it.

  • Gerardo

    Right now they are $1500 and don’t do anything better yet. That’s the point.

  • Gerardo

    When they come down in price to may be$99 and do more that a fragile hand free camera then most people will change their mind

  • Marius Viken

    I’ve been excited over this since the rumors. Can’t wait to see how they actually work for the average user!

  • celeph

    I like the idea of these glasses and would love to try them. I also love the idea of other life-logging devices like Memoto – but there are valid privacy concerns. Not everyone wants to become a reality star, photoshopped and shared, published, broadcast around the globe for everyone’s amusement. I know with surveillance cameras all around the city, privacy doesn’t really exist anymore. And with the first cellphone cameras it’s become acceptable to take pictures without ask someone’s permission. While some people will use their glasses and other mobile recording devices responsibly, others will turn into inconsiderate ‘glassholes’ and invade other people’s privacy when and where ever they like and can. Many people just won’t worry about how their actions could affect or disturb someone else…just how the cell phone produced quite a few not so pleasant individuals who think everybody is interested in their conversations with the world, at the movies, in the grocery store, or wherever. This change, as fun as it may be on first sight, will also produce more serious issues in the workplace. I’d be curious to see how much confidential info will eventually leak into the public. Maybe it will be a good change, leading to a more transparent world with less crime (under constant surveillance) – but I can also see an Orwellian nightmare. And these new gadgets also bring up the question – is there really enough good use to be gained from them to justify the price? Isn’t it yet another overpriced toy that distracts, and entertains more than it would increase life quality or productivity? I’m looking forward to my Memoto life logger and I’m sure I’ll play with it for a while – but as far as these glasses are concerned.. I’ll probably refrain from becoming an early adopter and observe what kind of an impact they’ll have on society and people living together.

  • Mart

    I think you’re still an idiot if you wait overnight for a phone you can buy any other time.

  • Joe Harlow

    ‘glassholes’ … Brilliant!

  • bob cooley

    Change is good, when it actually is good – that’s not an absolute.

    It’s far too early to see if Google Glass will represent any sort of change, or if it will be another Apple Newton.

    Many of the concerns around the device, by many journalists are well-thought out and valid, to call everyone who doesn’t like the idea of Google Glass “Haters” is dismissive and disingenuous.

    Sorry man, I like a lot of your posts, but most of this one spends too much time dismissing anything valid, and resorts to ad hominem attacks (people are afraid?, people are lazy?).

    Many of the tech-writers you are referring to are tech writers because they LOVE new tech. And for many, this type of tech is invasive and annoying. Just because it’s new tech doesn’t make it a good thing.

  • Swade

    Change or not, I just don’t see the value in them. I don’t want everything I want to use on my face. I don’t want to record video or take pictures of everything, and I don’t want to see videos and pictures of everything other people see. I don’t understand this new found obsession with documenting every part of your life. You may hate articles saying it’s creepy, but you know what… it kind of is. I think you honing in on “change” as the subject of all the naysaying articles is kind of a stretch. They look terrible (hence the geekiness and dorkiness), and you can have your picture taken without being the wiser (creepiness). It’s an interesting piece of hardware with some neat innovations, but I just think it’s a ridiculous product.

    Also, question, what if you wear glasses?

  • agour

    yet another brilliant invention that lets people detract themselves from the real world.

    It’s bad enough seeing people sitting on their smartphones all day long, these glasses will push that one step further. Don’t get me wrong I love the convenience of having my smartphone for checking things (train times, restaurants, etc), when out and about. But I hate when people start to favor virtual interactions over real ones.

    Glasses will just increase that trend.. Might as well start designing robots to go outside for you, so you can sit on the computer all day instead

  • r3drox

    They will not cost $1500. The high price is a reasonable ceiling for PROTOTYPES which naturally were not manufactured in bulk!

  • 11

    glassholes.. this term should go mainstream.

  • Philip Harvey Danger Mitchell

    If it were a cool display built in to a full lens I’d love it. Terminator vision!? sign me up.

    But it isn’t. It’s just a camera you stick to the side of your head. It will have a battery icon to look at and the time.

    This is a good direction to go. But it’s the 1999 microsoft tablet pc. It’s going to be a while before we see the ipad.

    I want Terminator style scanning and interaction of the environment. Blending perfectly into sun or prescription glasses.

    Not a smart phone I wear on my head all the time.

  • joshmolina2

    Not all change works out though. For every good idea and success story you posted, theirs also a million failures. When was the last time anyone here used orkut?

  • Mehmet Kıvanç Özel

    real world is overrated

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    The thesis of this article seems to be, “Sometimes when new things come out people don’t like them, and then later they’re popular.” which is true, but not much of an argument.

    For starters there are plenty of things that people don’t like initially, and continue to not like. Even if a lot of people like something it doesn’t mean that EVERYONE does, I don’t own a smartphone and I don’t feel particularly disadvantaged, if anything I’m glad I don’t run into telephone polls or stare at it during dinner with friends.

    Also, I feel like equating popularity with value is pretty flawed. Sugary drinks are popular, cigarettes are popular, racism is popular, none of these things are good just because a lot of people are into them. Just because something’s popular or widespread doesn’t mean its a good thing, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.

    I think one of the aspects of GGlass that people are afraid of but aren’t talking about explicitly is the much tighter integration with us as beings. A phone sits in your pocket, glasses are an extension of your eyes which are themselves an extension of your brain. This is computing getting very close to the core of who we are as people.

    When you consider who designs and pays for interfaces and apps this starts to get creepy. Government agencies and marketing firms are getting more intimate access then ever to you at a very deep level. GGlass development isn’t being paid for by consumers, its being bankrolled by corporations and governments and as such will reflect their interests. You’ll be walking down the street and Google Glass with try and get you to go into particular stores. It will be able to monitor not just where you go but what you look at.

    This is all good and well if you trust the people behind the technology, but as we’ve seen with schools monitoring children at home via laptops and plenty of government domestic spying, there’s not much reason to trust.

  • Stewart Doyle

    They will run Android. This means modability, which means they are far FAR more than merely a camera stuck to your glasses. They are in fact very close in spec(lol) to my Galaxy S2, which means, what?




    Amazons Kindle app.

    Google Maps Navigation.


    Remote VPN to my home PC

    All just in front of your eye. No-one peering over your shoulder judging your choice of reading material, or game score.

    And thats just the first generation of these devices. Future versions? ‘holographic’ keyboards, facial recognition (I’m awful at linking names to faces, it would be a killer app for me), assistance for the blind, heck, with bone conductivity audio, assistance for the DEAF, and undoubtably, uses and features someone hasn’t even invented yet because this is new, and it’s going to be as big a game-changer as the iPhone was.

    Because sure, there were smartphones BEFORE the iPhone. But then Apple changed how people, how the WORLD sees mobile computing, and now we have mass proliferation of something that before, was merely sci-fi and wishful thinking.

    Google Glass _IS_ the next iteration of mobile computing. Whether is succeeds or not itself is irrelevant. If Google hadn’t announced it, Apple would have inside a few more years.

  • naysayer

    You say the arguments are valid and well thought out and you still don’t even care to give even ONE example?

    That’s a bit weak.

  • Mark Moore

    The Apple Newton, for all its faults, was the precursor to the Palm series of devices, which were in turn the precursors to the smart phones and iPads of this world.

    If Glass follows a similar path, it will be ubiquitous within a decade…

    Personally, I think the Glass is now inevitable, with the killer apps being navigation and life-logging. The only question is how long it takes to make it practical. And a lot of people and a lot of money are currently working on that.

  • Matt

    I agree. Just because the phone became popular it does not make camping outside a store for an electronic product any less stupid. Although harmless the bragging undertone of this article was annoying.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Change may be good, but so is a healthy dose of skepticism. The writer has a couple of valid points, but the article as a whole is undermined by broad generalizations and assumptions.

    ” It’s simple: most people hate change. Most people fear change. Most people hope the world around them never changes and turns into something else. They are afraid that change will take their job, or their income, or somehow hurt them.”

  • Sky

    @author – the fact that you like the idea doesn’t mean that you can accuse others for talking gibberish. I could equally well say the same about this whole article – gibberish. And FYI Google Glass doesn’t “scare people” in any way, especially: not in the way that sharing of the photos would. You call it tool – I call it a gadget for google fanboys.

    “Change is good. Don’t let the naysayers tell you otherwise” – That’s not truth and there are hundreds of examples for that. Companies making two steps back with a “change”, projects failing, plastic crap replacing good products, etc. etc.

    Don’t speak of it as an absolute truth. It’s not.

  • Sky

    Newton had it’s own precursors, including devices as ancient as Psion Organiser. So if you try to prove that Newton was successful because it lead everyone to iPads – it’s a lie. Or at least: half-truth.

    “If Glass follows a similar path, it will be ubiquitous within a decade” – we’ll see where it goes. I’m quite sure though that the GGlass won’t be the product to meet success. This market needs something to be what iPad was to Tablet PCs. But it won’t be from Google.

  • Dawn

    Oh yeah, I heard about these a couple of weeks ago. My husband mentioned them to me. Hey, technology is freaky, but hey it’s SUPER AWESOME so why fight the enhancements. Granted they are expensive, they won’t be for long. Just like anything else. I bet people will change their tune, when they can actually purchase and use them. Thanks for the deets.

  • Dan Scott

    If Apple had announced iGlasses (instead of Google Glasses), they’d be a huge sensation.

  • Steve Bottoms

    As a software developer in another life, I can see the potential for gGlass with something like city/community planning, design, etc. I’d love to get a pair to develop some new software (“real” software, not just another picture taking, music playing, social thing) on… but the $1500 price tag isn’t worth it to me. Personally, as a non-pro photog, I just can’t see the use of these as a photog. Just my $.02.

  • Les Legato

    I can’t wait till some glass-hole take and posts pics of you scratching your ass, picking your nose and then eating it, all with the same hand.

  • rpk

    An absolutely awesome term ‘glasshole’ – definitely fits the type of person who wants to walk around like a land-drone.

  • bob cooley

    No need, you can simply read the many reviews yourself.

  • bob cooley

    I think that we will certainly see augmented reality devices in our future; everything from HUD dashboards in cars to many other types of devices, but I don’t think that Google Glass is going to be that device.

    I used the Apple Newton example for exactly that purpose, it was a device WAY ahead of its time, but wasn’t really ready for an audience, nor was it the best application of tech that would be utilized by its eventual ancestors (PDAs and smartphones).

    Navigation would be a killer app, but Glass won’t likely be the tool for it (you’ll more likely see that on your windshield HUD). LIfe-logging is another pet rock, no one will care within 5 years except the exceptionally narcissistic.

    Besides, my comment wasn’t really against Glass, its the first step to something pretty interesting; I just think its problematic to dismiss everyone who has an opposing yet valid opinion as “scared” or “haters”. That’s just name-calling, it serves no purpose.

  • Keith Barrett

    Couldn’t agree with you more Thomas :-)

  • Steve

    I like the concept but the design looks horrible to me. I’d rather something that looks more like ordinary glasses. I see other companies are working on that. I’m also a bit wary of Google. They allready have a lot of power by being the search engine most people use.

    The price is crazy and there’s no way I would spend more that $200 on these as I will probably lose or break them, like I seem to with all my glasses.

  • Mark Moore

    “Newton had it’s own precursors, including devices as ancient as Psion Organiser”

    I know (I had one :-). And Glass is preceded by Android phones, GoPro cameras, and so on.

    The point is not that the Newton was (or Glass will be) successful. It wasn’t. But the functionality that the Newton represented is now ubiquitous.

  • Jason

    Getting “hyped up” about this product at this stage of their existence is just plain silly. These things have a long way to go before they could be useful enough to add to or replace the repertoire of gadgets already in use now, with a larger, HD screen and not worn on your face (What if the user already has glasses or is near-sighted??). MY theory is by the time Google tweeks these for mass use, they will already be obsolete and replaced by something less intrusive and more advanced.

  • Jason

    Life-logging? For whom exactly? Do we all have to think we are so important and interesting that we need random logging of our lives for some Youtube montage later on in life?

  • Lance

    The next invention should be “Google-Dick” Replace existing penis with Google-Dick because with devices like these, you’ll never have a use for a real penis ever again.

  • Dan A.

    I have to STRONGLY disagree with you. When I heard Apple was going to release a phone, I was skeptical. However, when I heard what it did, I was amazed: It brought something close to a full internet experience to my phone.

    I had spent over a $1000 dollars on a windows mobile phone and a nokia smartphone previously to achieve the goal that apple’s iPhone promised…and neither worked well. So when Apple announced iPhone, I was more than willing to wiat on line to buy one…not because the iPhone was cool, but because it solved a well defined problem in my life. Ditto, the iPad. Between it and the iPhone I can carry with me enough computing power to do 95% of what I ever need to do, every day of my life.

    But Google Glass doesn’t solve any well defined problems. It is a solution in search of a problem. So I’m quite skeptical it will catch on.

    Every product, every business is a solution to a problem. And too many people try to create products by creating the solution and then finding the problem. You have to be damned lucky for that to work.

    Google’s driverless car project is far more likely to be widely adapted, if you ask me, because it solves a very real problem.

  • celeph

    I see the only benefit in the ability to capture certain (interesting, fascinating, moving, funny, accidental) moments that would normally be lost because I either don’t have a camera with me or not able to get the camera ready quickly enough to capture it. I’m also interested to see if the camera feed reveals things I’ve missed myself. I can also see a use as a piece of evidence in traffic incidents etc. I’d probably expect 99% of all captured pictures/data to be uninteresting and not worth keeping. Do I feel I’m important or interesting? Not at all – I know my life is incredibly boring and mostly spent on a keyboard :) I have no desire to share it all to the world. Is it a must-have, essential for life? Certainly not – at the end of the day it’s just a toy. The maps and graphs captured by my bike-computer/gps and heart-rate monitor are fun records to look at in the evening and perhaps motivate to do more – but they’re certainly not necessary to enjoy a bike ride. When I first got my bike-computer I shared all the fancy graphs, but I soon realized that most of it is really not interesting enough to share or even to keep around forever. I’d expect the same with a life-logger. I’m pretty sure the log-data won’t pollute the web.

  • 11

    we must also realize that life logging is certainly something that may be potentially useful to the BIG brothers…

  • Anonymous

    Google Glass is not the product. You are the product.

  • 9inchnail

    “There’s nothing like change to bring out the absolute haters.”

    Yeah, you’re right, because change is always good. History has proven this time and time again. I bet the people back in 1933 thought change would be good, too. So they went and elected the nazi party. What a blast they had.

    So yeah, bringt them glasses and let’s party like it’s 1933. I know, 1984 would be more fitting here but let’s not spoil it.

  • 2wk

    You compared Eggleston & colour photography to this smartphone u stick on your head? Wow. Chill!

    Also, I didn’t hear anyone bashing the unveiling of the iPhone. Everyone I knew was pretty excited about such a device.

    Stop being so righteous because u stood in line for one, please…

  • God

    I’m sure at least half the people on here bashing the Google Glasses will be out buying them for themselves and becoming the so-call Glass-holes. You guys are probably the same number of people that bashed the iPads and tablets until you got yours. Then oh how amazing it is, Hippocrates.
    Everybody hates new things that have any potential to change the way we do things and go about our lives. PC’s in the 80’s, Cell phones 90’s, internet in the 2000’s ( i know it came out earlier, but was very very Raw at that point).

    Stop smelling your own farts and embrace the wave of change people.

  • 11

    Buying and making use of it occassionaly for a specific purpose without annoying anyone else is welcome — and I am think bashers here agree with this idea (provided price point is right, and that applications really serve a purpose).

    I think bashers here are concerned about the glassholes who are out to annoy others (perhaps unintentionally). They are also concerned about privacy and shielding from big corporations.

    good luck embracing the wave of farts…

  • rpk

    Like the wired article points about about useless things such as the segway (unless you’re some overweight mall cop), there’s very little reason to use the glasses (unless you wear the badge of being a total prat proudly).

    They’ll have their use, but for general consumer usage, meh.

    If being a ‘glasshole’ suits your personality, be my guest, wear some by all means, hell buy a segway too.

  • Willie Washington

    “I think journalists that like to bash change are far, far, dorkier than bloggers who like to take showers with their Google Glass on.”

    Someone took a shower with their Google Glass on!?! Are you freakin’ kidding me!?! I don’t care who you are, THAT IS FRICKIN WEIRD!!!!

  • jcottonm

    First world problem… Of course he likes it. It’s working for him, Trey & others on the inside. Nothing wrong with that but remember it’s partly self-serving and self-rationalizing. BTW will the GG pics count towards the million in a life time?