2013/04/16

Google Glass not to be monetized?

Google just released the Glass API and I was, like many others, eagerly waiting for just that to happen. But, having learnt my lessons in the past, I did also read the Terms of Service.


Glass ToS Section 3: Fees
No Fees. You may not charge end users any fees or collect any payments in order to download or access your API Client, or in connection with virtual goods or functionality of your API Client.
source 

What's the worst troll a tech firm could pull off? Introduce the most amazing - maybe the most revolutionary technology in the century - and immediately spoil it for everyone that might do great stuff with it.

As it is right now, developers like me cannot make a living on developing Glassware. While you will see a lot of apps  I will not develop for glass if I am forced to do it for free. If the free stuff is optional, like on android, that's a totally different story. Of course, I might do something like "buy me a beer", but in reality what I am after is "buy me a living".

+Andreas Proschofsky pointed out that it's just a preliminary release and might change, but still this is a dangerousthing to be in the ToS. I can now either invest a lot of time and money building Glassware (I have to pay for servers and devote time to it that could be spent on playing with my daughter for example) and hope to be able to monetize on it later or just skip it entirely. I would hate to skip the platform, but if there is no money on the horizon (there's also a NO ADS in ToS #2, which is great) it's a too dangerous thing for me to develop something.

Just for starters: Developing something for glass that has quality would take something around 100 to 200 hours at least (That's the equivalent of about 5.000 - 10.000 €) and I don't even have hardware to test it on. I would (and most likely will) have to buy the Glass Hardware as soon as it's available in Europe, which will most likely be a year after it was released in the US (Austria still does not have movies and series in the Play store, nor can we buy Nexus devices), which costs me another 1.500 $. A decent cloud server that can scale costs something around 50$/month and the more I scale up the more it costs. So In total the whole app would cost me about 10k € (~13k $) in the first 2 months and all the free time that I can think of.

Would you invest that without having a chance to get it back?