We, humans, are strange creatures. We are the only species on the planet that’s capable of thoroughly analyzing and thinking things through, however, this capability is seeming more like a curse as we are unable to control our own thought process and initiate overthinking. Despite this, sometimes we behave as if we don’t even have a brain, as we end up making decisions without any logic. According to psychologists, this is due to psychology and our brain’s continuous approach to conserve energy as making the final decision requires energy, but by quickly comparing pros and cons we instantaneously come to a conclusion at the cost of accuracy.
What is Pro-Innovation Bias?
You may have observed that whenever a new piece of technology comes out, baseless predictions start to surface as well because it is our human nature to be inspired and astonished by anything new. Pro-Innovation bias states exactly this, it is the tendency of people to overestimate the capabilities of an innovative product while simply ignoring or underestimating its limitations. Biased people also advocate that the new innovation must be adopted by the entire society regardless of its widespread need. In addition to that, tremendous thinking and special care are put into the marketing of these products, as these are often promoted with statements like “the groundbreaking technology” or “with “the truly innovative feature” and people are quick to jump on the hype train.
Examples of Pro-Innovation Bias
These are the fine examples of pro-innovation bias that ultimately failed.
- Google Glasses: It was a sensational product even before its launch as people who were not even interested in the technology were constantly checking on any new updates on this device. Google really thought they had struck gold with this headset and they knew what they were doing because even in 2014 when it launched the price tag was set to $1500, even some of the high-end mobile phones are not that expensive even in 2021. Despite that, it could record videos, take photographs, play music, and tell you other details thanks to exceptional built-in Google AI. pro-innovation bias kicked in and the tech community was eager to have this device widespread, everyone thought it would be the next big thing without noticing its limitations and concerns. Despite being a great device, privacy concerns were real and for very good reasons. How would one know that it is recording your video or your voice? This led to bars, restaurants, and theatres banning it right away and continued concerns ultimately led to the cancellation of these glasses that once people thought would be everywhere.
- Nuclear Power: In the 1950s, when nuclear power was gaining popularity, pretty much everyone thought that it would render traditional wood, coal, and oil useless as efficient nuclear power would simply change our lives. During those times, it was claimed that in the next 2 decades nuclear power would change the course of humanity by cleaning the waters from the ocean for drinking, allowing vegetation in the deserts, and allow space travel beyond our solar system. Nuclear power plants throughout the globe were built but unfortunately, most of them just failed to cause detrimental effects. Chernobyl and Japan’s nuclear incidents clearly show that, though optimism is good and nuclear power could solve most of our energy issues, its limitation must be taken into consideration as well. Still, researchers continue to sink hours into developing a safe power plant.
- LG CLOi: Though it was launched as a really inspiring idea, as google, apple, and even amazon were advancing in AI technology and people seemed to be investing in smart home artificial intelligence, LG set out to do exactly that. At the CES of 2018, they set to launch their smart robot with their in-house AI known as ThinQ, preceding the event a lot of hype had been created and people were ready to buy the product right at the event. LG’s chief David Vanderwaal walked up on the stage, introduced the new robot and everything was going smoothly but right after the initial demonstration the CLOi simply went silent and stopped responding to whatever was said. At first, the audience thought it was a minor glitch as it happens with every product, but soon they all realize that it was a disaster and nothing like the product that people thought it was.
- Google+: They say one shouldn’t copy and if you must, you must copy from the best. Google simply did this and tried to make a product similar to Facebook in 2011, as during those times Facebook was the epitome of social media, and naturally, all of the tech giants wanted to have a piece of this share. Though it was supposed to be a replacement for Facebook, and the way it was advertised and even the tech people were certain that it was going to take over the social media world then what happened? Reviewers overestimated the ease of use, it was a complex software that demanded a learning curve and people to this day use their device to relax or enjoy and just to learn another new skill to use a software seemed unnecessary. As of today, about 98% of its user base is gone.
Though there are more products that have failed, those didn’t cause such hype towards them. Pro-innovation bias, however, is good for business, as companies don’t need to create extra promotions and these people simply spread their word for them.