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That time Google CEO Sundar Pichai winged a product launch

The new top exec debuted Google’s VR headset, Cardboard, without seeing the final version, reveals BuzzFeed reporter Mat Honan in a profile of Pichai.

About eight weeks prior to Google I/O, the company’s major developer conference, Pichai saw a demo of an early iteration and asked virtual reality lead Clay Bavor to launch Cardboard at I/O. From BuzzFeed:

“He said, ‘OK, Clay, run,’ and he didn’t see me, or Google Cardboard, for the next eight and a half weeks,” says Bavor. The plan was, they would hand out foldable cardboard viewers in giveaway bags… But at 11 p.m. the night before, Pichai had a different idea. He was worried that people wouldn’t understand what this piece of cardboard was in the gift bags, and might even throw it away. “He said, ‘I really want to announce it onstage. I just think it would be really cool; can we do that?'”

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