The Google Chromebook was launched far, far, far too early.
It just isn’t ready or close to being ready. It will, maybe, be fine in 2 years. At the moment, it doesn’t have the apps or ecosystem a to make it worth the money. It is also at least £100 too expensive. It has flopped. I think the idea is good and it should become successful but the market isn’t ready.

Why did Google release such a product onto the market?

It is due to their philosophy of launch and iterate. You launch a product as soon as you can, and then iterate it. So, the customer feedback in this case is that it is useless. The Google engineers will take this away and work on it.

Apple works on the other extreme and doesn’t let anything go until they are happy everything is ready. They don’t look for customer feedback. They launch it and expect it to be loved.

There are advantages to both and disadvantages to both. Speed versus perfection.

In my opinion Google made a mistake here. I back their philosophy but not when it makes them launch a product too early.

Seth Godin talks about the necessity of being prepared to ship your product. Not hiding it away, always making changes, never prepared to let the public see it. Charles Darwin almost lost out on being known as the father of Evolutionary Theory because he refused to publish his book for over 20 years as he was unsure about it and the furore it was likely to cause.

I agree that you need to ship as soon as you can. I like to write my blog posts whilst in the same flow, post them and move on. I also like setting deadlines that seem too close to be possible, because the timelines suddenly become possible when the project starts.

However, Google could do with taking a few leaves out of Apple’s book and start putting a bit more effort up front to save time later.

Work out what the public want and deliver it to them.