There is a lot of profit-spinning in the realm of e-commerce business. However, surviving the tech game is not an easy task. With a deluge of new gadgets and technologies released each year, it’s a given that each won’t succeed. Some are just bound to fail while others make a point to succeed. There have been certain technologies and products that have flamed out in dramatic, memorable ways. That’s what this list is about.
Being tough in terms of creation and even tougher in terms of prediction, technology more or less seems like a breakthrough product one minute can quickly turn into a nightmarish mistake. There’s been an interesting thread circling my corner of the internet for the last week or so. It started with a question: what were the biggest tech gaffes in history? The question was also prompted by the dismal sales of Amazon’s Fire Phone which company’s quarterly report confirmed with horrific losses.
Well, Amazon isn’t alone! There are plenty of companies do deals and acquisitions that, in retrospect, are monumentally stupid. Let’s find out!
Google does a lot right. Snatching up Android, developing an amazing bunch of software and smartphone tools, isn’t it? Did you know Nexus Q was such a blunder that a company as successful as Google couldn’t escape from it? The digital media player known as Nexus Q was handed out at $300 to each and every person attending the 2012 Google I/O conference. Due to its price versus function disparity, people offered abysmal feedback. As a result, Google pulled the device the market and basically gave them out for free to whoever actually pre-ordered one.
Launched on April 2, 2010, the social network was introduced to the crowd. The technology failed because people were unable to easily get in touch with their friends especially the ones who were also using the service and didn’t have a website you could log into. However, Apple can, and more likely will improve the service.
The rise and fall of WebOS has been documented from time to time. And therefore, I won’t go into the hows and whys. Right from the ease of use; intuitiveness; a passionate fan base; customizability, the platform has it all. The only problem is that it lacks micromanaging. Mismanagement featuring both hardware and software led to the untimely demise of webOS.
However, webOS’s legacy remains even today! If you look around carefully, you will be able to find so pieces of webOS in today’s smartphones. In fact, these days the OS is owned by LG and powers their Smart TVs, something you wouldn’t know about just by looking at the UI.
Everyone knows Vista! Even after an extended Beta period, the notoriously horrible looking OS was plagued with compatibility issues and was unforgivably slow. As a result, there wasn’t anything to love, and certainly nothing worth abandoning Windows XP for. Luckily, Windows 7 sorted out a lot of the mess Vista created.
Many of you often mistaken pebble as the first smartwatch in the world. Well actually it wasn’t the first but it was arguably the first one noticed by the world. The original Pebble, with its E Ink display, inadvertently set the standard for battery life in the smartwatch community. Even today, the technology has a standard that no other product has the potential to live up to. When Pebble burst into the scene it set Kickstarter records and showed to everyone what the promise of a good smartwatch could be.Then came Android wear, Apple watch, Tizen and a number of other watches which were advanced but with poor battery life. This bunch of advanced products offered colourful prettiness, slick animation, and tons of added functionality that Pebble couldn’t match. Pebble finally released a colour version of its watch featuring a newly revamped operating system which included 1984 Atari-style animations but it was too little, too late. No matter how innovative the technology, the watch just couldn’t compete with the big players in the market. At last, Pebble was sold to FitBit.
Facebook, go home
2013 saw the tech giant Facebook entering the mobile arena with Facebook home. The technology took over your lock screen, updating it with a rotation of status updates from your friends. The best part was that images from your friends’ feeds served as background for those updates.In addition, Facebook also came up with chat heads i.e. floating chat bubbles which expanded into Facebook messenger. This feature allowed the user to have an ongoing conversation; i.e. quickly minimize it to look at something on your screen, then bring it back by tapping the bubble. Moreover, one could easily move them around the screen, up/down/left/right. Personally, I was a fan, but plenty weren’t.
LG brought us a series of failures in a row. Yes, I am talking about LG G Flex and LG G Flex 2. Though, the curved screen of mobiles offered some unique capabilities such as 18:9 screen ratios that made the device feel smaller and easier to use in one hand. Moreover, the curved screen of the Flex also allowed the phone to slip more easily into a back pocket, and hold up to your face.Unfortunately, today with 5.5 inches phone, you don’t really get that same sense of immersion, unless you want to hold the phone up to your face and give yourself a headache.
Tech failures aren’t necessarily bad. More often than not, we learn something from our failures, they’re experiments. All in all, It’s a safe bet to say that some things that are better off dead.
Editorial Note: Please note that the views and comments expressed in this article belong to the contributing author and may not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Paul Writer.