Report from super secret Motorola phone launch at Google headquarters – Moto X

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(photo courtesy of Motorola, and compiled by TerriAnn van Gosliga from Cookies and Clogs)

On July 11, after teaching all day at creativeLIVE, I was whisked away in a black town car to Google headquarters for a top secret meeting organized by Guy Kawasaki.

I didn’t know anything about the topic of the meeting, just that we were going to get a sneak peek of some very cutting edge technology, and that if I leaked anything before the official announcement on August 1, that something very, very bad would happen, like banishment to an island without Internet.


(Pictured: Rick Osterloh, the SVP of product at Motorola Mobility. photo by Robert Scoble, through his Google Glass.)

We were given an entertaining demo by SVP of product at Motorola Mobility, Rick Osterloh. I tried to stay focused on the features while marveling at the 3-wall projector screen.

The Moto X phone itself has some really cool features, including my favorites, the “touchless control” voice activated Google search, custom configuration and colors and the “quick capture”  2 seconds to live camera (you gently flip the phone once and the camera comes up).

The best overview I have seen of the phone is from 19-year old Marques Brownlee, who I got a chance to talk to at the event. He is a super sharp tech YouTuber who has been doing reviews since his early teens. Watch his video and see why Guy Kawasaki flew him all the way from New Jersey to Google headquarters to attend the secret product launch. He breaks down the features of the phone, as well as a live demo of the features.

Watch on YouTube:


(Me with Olympic gold medalist, philanthropist, author, Dancing With the Stars Champion and entrepreneur Kristi Yamaguchi)

It takes a village to build and launch a product

Besides enjoying the technology and the great presentation facilities, I was fascinated at the eclectic group that Guy had gathered for the event.

I got to eat dinner with one of my heroes, Kristi Yamaguchi, and her husband Bret Hedican. They were very down to earth, and it was so fun talking about building a body of work, family, work-life balance and entrepreneurship.

I spoke with a group of the Moto X product managers from Motorola who had been working feverishly on the new product. They were so excited by what they had developed, and told me that working on that project was very much like being in a start up. Motorola had gone through some painful times before the Google acquisition, so it was interesting to hear their inside perspective.

I saw Jennifer Jones and Beth Blecherman, friends from another Guy Kawasaki adventure, an overnight trip on an aircraft carrier.

I finally got to meet Your Network is Your Net Worth author Porter Gale, who wrote up her own piece on the event on AdAge today.

But the highlight of the visit was meeting IDEO founder David Kelley. I spotted him across the room when I was sitting in the presentation room, and stopped myself from knocking people out of the way, Terry Tate Linebacker style. As we gathered in a room to view the hands-on product demo of the phone, I walked up and introduced myself, careful to not gush too much, lest I scare him away. He has been a relentless innovator and design educator, and is one person I would shadow for a month if he would ever allow it. I shared that his staff at IDEO had held their offsite meeting at the Port Costa School, which has been my Dad and Dee’s volunteer project of love for the last 20 years, and figures prominently in my new book Body of Work. He was kind and gracious, and reinforced my impression of him as a truly wise and grounded person.

The product evangelism lesson that I learned from Guy at the event is to bring a creative, diverse group from many different ecosystems together so that the social gathering is as compelling as the business at hand. We all had stimulating conversations, and will be connected by our shared memory of a sneak peek at some cool technology. The resulting blog posts about the event and the product span a huge range of markets and special interests.

I will be getting a Moto X phone of my own to play with in a few weeks. I look forward to the customization process, as well as trying out the voice-activated search that Marques demonstrated in his video.

And now that I am back at home in Mesa, Arizona, I keep looking out my front door to see if a black town car is there to whisk me off to another glamorous event. So far, all I have seen is the Domino Delivery Guy.

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9 Responses to “Report from super secret Motorola phone launch at Google headquarters – Moto X”

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  3. How exciting to be “in the know” before a big release. When you get the MotoX and have become proficient at using it be sure to let us know your thoughts.

  4. faisal says:

    How does the MotoX compare to the iPhone?

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  6. Haha – so glad he didn’t banish us 🙂 It was great meeting you although I wish we had more of an opportunity to talk together. Everything seemed like a whirlwind! I enjoyed your writeup and it did bring back some fondness of this covert event. Also, thank you for the photo credit.

  7. John Dodds says:

    Looking forward to your ice skating tutorial next week.

    • Pamela Slim says:

      How did you know? Now that I got my black belt and my MMA teacher moved to Hawaii, I need a new sport!