The 12 Biggest Tech Failures of All Time


Product innovation is one way that enables large corporations to stay competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace, but it does not always work out when big brands try innovation. Here are 12 biggest tech flops of all time.

1. Tivo


TiVo is a Digital Video Recorders (DVR) developed and marketed by TIVO Corporation and introduced in 1999. It became a successful market and brand. TiVo, to this day, puts out some of the best set-top boxes on the planet. However, the company is on this list, because it played nice when it should have dominated. For example, rather than suing when cable companies rolled out their own DVRs, TiVo waited to see if they could work out a deal, because it was dependent on the TV providers. Then, instead of promoting how much better TiVo boxes were than cable DVRs, the company tamed its revolutionary commercial-skipping features. Finally, when TiVo did sue, Cable Company DVRs were everywhere. TiVo won all its patent infringement cases, bringing home $1.6 billion that has sustained the company to this day.

2. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy


VIRTUAL BOY is a 32-bit table- video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. Released in 1995, it was marketed as the first console capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D. Virtual Boy was a physically uncomfortable mess of a game system. It was not even “virtual” instead offering a crude tabletop version of what viewers now routinely experience when they pop on stereoscopic 3D glasses at the movies. However, creator Gunpei Yokoi’s critical misfire was vital in at least this sense: It got the public thinking about virtual reality decades before true virtual headsets like the Oculus Rift arrived.

3. Segway


Invented by Dean Kamen, the SEGWAY Human Transporter (HT) electric vehicle has a two-wheeled, self-balancing design. Designed as a revolutionary new transportation option, SEGWAYS have largely been relegated to the realm of the mall cop and tour group. Nevertheless, for any reason, technologists never bored of attempting to replace the well-proven movement method of walking around — The Great Hoverboard Craze of 2015-16 can trace its origins directly to this stand-up scooter.

4. Dreamcast


DREAMCAST is home video game console released by Sega on November 27, 1998 in Japan, September 9, 1999 in North America and on October 14, 1999 in Europe. It was the first in the sixth generation of video game consoles, preceding Sony’s PlayStation 2, Nintendo’s GameCube, and MICROSOFT XBOX. It combined home-arcade wish fulfillment with a built-in modem for online multiplayer (a console first). In addition, controllers with second screens years before Nintendo’s DS handhelds. Unable to lure gamers entranced by the marketing hype around next-gen Sony and Nintendo systems, the Dreamcast declined in march 30 2001.

5. Google Glass


It was an optical head-mounted display designed in the shape of a pair of eyeglasses. It was developed by Google with the mission of producing a ubiquitous computer. The smart spectacles the search giant reveal in 2012. From its flashy introduction demo that featured skydivers streaming their jump through the device, to a spread in Vogue, Glass had possibly one of the most-hyped gadget launches of all time. However, Google announced that it would stop producing the Google prototype on January 15, 2015. The headset’s high price tag ($1,500) and concerns about privacy kept it from going mainstream. Glass made it easy to record video discretely, which encourage some bars, restaurants, and movie theaters to prevent the gadget. When Glass may have failed, it offered valuable lessons about wearable tech. To be precise, no one likes to be recorded without their knowledge.

6. MySpace


MySpace is a social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, photos, music, groups, and videos. My space was the largest social networking site in the world from 2005 to 2009, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the united states, and it surely helped popularize the basic concept of social media and online profiles. However, MySpace was overtaken by king of social media in April 2008. Since then, the number of MySpace users has declined steadily in spite of several redesigns.

 7. Netscape


Was the dominant web browser in terms of usage share in the 1990s. However, its usage had nearly disappeared. This was because of the rise usage of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser software. However, the company played a vital role in the way tech develops through the antitrust lawsuit it won against Microsoft, a decision with implications that still influence the industry today. Nevertheless, while Netscape won that battle, it eventually lost the browser war, but not before AOL purchases Netscape for $4.2 billion.

8. Sony Betamax


BETAMAX was developed by SONY and was released in Japan on May 10, 1975. It is a consumer-level-analog-recording and cassette format of magnetic tape for video. In September 1976, JVC announced the VHS-format VCR to compete head to head against BETAMAX. With this announcement, the VCR format battle began. JVC used VHS format tapes that could hold a two-hour movie instead of BETAMAX’s one-hour limit-and that was the key. As a result, VHS was readily embraced by the video rental industry because a single cassette could hold a whole movie, and it was slight advantage in popularity and price that gave VHS a greater market share that grew and grew. BETAMAX became obsolete, having lost the videotape format war to VHS. Production of BETAMAX recorders ceased in 2002; new BETAMAX cassettes were available until March 2016, when SONY stopped making and selling.

9. Palm Pilot


Palm Computing was founded in 1992 by Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, and Ed Colligan. The original purpose of the company was to create software for the Zoomer devices sold by Casio. However, they strongly believed that they could create better hardware than what was available on the market at the time. Eventually, in 1996, they developed their first personal assistant device (PDA). The pilot could fit in your pocket and became the world’s first successful PDA. The original Palm Pilot PDA sold a million units in its first year alone, which makes it hard to brand the device a failure. But that was   1997, the year in which Microsoft came in and rescued Apple with a $150 investment. That Palm was never able to convert the beachhead it established in mobile computing into a Smartphone empire is one of the biggest tragedies in all of tech. Acquired by HP in 2010, Palm has devolved into a zombie brand, continually churning out handheld devices that neither sell well nor move the ball forward. Currently the company is owned by TCL, which also owns BlackBerry.

10. BlackBerry


BLACKBERRY was considered one of the most prominent Smartphone vendors in the world, specializing in secure communications and mobile productivity. These iconic devices were many users’ first Smartphone, able to connect to the Internet, send and receive email, and chat with one another over the company’s BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, service. RIM (research In Motion Limited) failed to keep up with the times, stubbornly sticking with its trademark physical keyboard instead of adopting an iPhone-like full touch screen, which quickly became fashionable. By 2016, BlackBerry was selling only about 4 million devices annually. In addition, BlackBerry announced it would be cease designing its own phones in favor of outsourcing to partners.

11. AOL


Originally known as America Online, it was one of the early pioneers of the Internet in the mid-1990s, and the most recognized brand on the web in the U.S. It originally provide a dial-up service to millions of Americans, as well as providing a web portal, e-mail, instant messaging and later a web browser following its purchase of NETSCAPE. At the height of its popularity, it purchased the media conglomerate TIME WARNER in the largest merger in U.S. history. AOL rapidly decline thereafter, partly because of the decline of dial-up to broad.



NAPSTER was founded by the brothers Shawn Fanning, John Fanning, along with Sean Parker. It was the name given to two music-focused online services. It was founded as pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service that emphasized sharing digital audio files, typically songs, encoded in MP3 format.

The service was very popular and provided an easy way for millions of Internet users to gain access to a large amount of free audio files (mostly music) that could also be shared with other Napster members. However, the Napster file did not last that long because of the lack of control on transfer of copyright material across its network. Napster’s illegal operations were soon on the radar of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) who filled a lawsuit against it for the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. After a long court battle, the RIAA eventually obtained an injunction from the courts, which forced Napster to shut down its network in 2001 for good.


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