Johnson likens Google Glass to the first time he saw the World Wide Web on a Mosaic browser, the now-ancient (in Internet time) ancestor of modern browsers.
“I remember that moment in my life and was like, holy shit, there is something here, there is a revolution coming,” Johnson said. “I actually felt the same way when I put on my Google Glass for the first time and forced myself to use it. I thought, wow, there is something here that is going to be hard to explain to people what is coming.”
Zite the company actually started as a semantic search engine called Worio, but changed course in 2011 to focus on news with a mobile-only focus. Its new app launched in the early days of the iPad and has expanded to the iPhone, Android smartphones and Windows Phone. Google Glass is a natural extension of that approach—albeit one heavily influenced by Johnson’s belief that Glass is just really cool.
The other reason to develop for Glass—the fear of missing out—also plays a factor. Internet disruption caught the media industry unprepared. With mobile now ascendant, media companies don’t want to miss the boat again. If that means building for platforms that ultimately may have no meaningful consumer adoption, so be it. It's better to cover the bases early than be the company that has to catch up to everyone else.
Zite is also bringing version 2.0 to Android
“I really want to be in early on that,” Johnson said. “I think it is important for us to be experimenting on these platforms which are going to be critical for people getting their news and information. And I want to make sure that as this revolution comes about, we are going to understand what consumers want and are going to be prepared for when Google Glass and other kinds of wearables like watches and whatnot become mainstream.”