With 2010 about to draw to a close, we’re taking a look back at some of the big products and moves in tech that just didn’t work out.
While it might be embarrassing for Google to have all these failures, it’s also encouraging. It shows the company is willing to take big swings. And if it misses, it just shuts down the product and moves on. It’s better to swing and miss than to strike out looking.
AOL's attempt at McContent has not gone well. We don't hear a thing about it anymore. It had a big moment during South By Southwest when it planned on trying to interview all the musicians performing. CEO Tim Armstrong was 'horrified' when he saw the end product. He called out the Seed team, and AOL in general, for doing crappy work.
Overall, it was a great year for Twitter. But it did have one big faceplant -- Early Bird, it's attempt at daily deals. Twitter gave Early Bird a go for a few months but decided it wasn't working so it pulled the plug.
TechCrunch's Michael Arrington had a good idea -- make a dead simple web surfing tablet for under $250. Execution wasn't as good (or simple) as the idea. The Crunchpad struggled to make it to market. When it was finally ready this year, Arrington and his partner Fusion Garage blew up at each other, and it went to court.
The CrunchPad became the JooJoo, selling for $600 AFTER Apple announced the iPad. Needless to say, the JooJoo was not a hot seller, and Fusion Garage is trying to figure out plan b.
Yahoo burned $100 million on an ad campaign to get people visiting (and staying with) Yahoo. It hasn't worked. Yahoo technically started the campaign at the end of 2009, but it was in 2010 that we saw how little impact it really had. And arguably, the 'It's Y!ou' is a metaphor for all the struggles Yahoo has had in 2010. After all, private equity is circling the company thinking about taking it private.
Oof. Just days before Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, Steve Ballmer stood on stage at CES proudly showing off a few tablets. We have yet to see a single one in the wild. The HP Slate, which was played up more than any of the others was recently released as an enterprise-only tablet, an admission that it would never challenge the iPad.
This is a historic flop. Microsoft spent $500 million to acquire Danger, the mobile company behind the Sidekick. Most of the team defected, but those that stuck around were helping with the Kin phones, which launched on April 12. Just 79 days later Microsoft pulled the plug on the phones. On the plus side, at least Microsoft didn't continue flushing money down the toilet on the Kin. It knew when to say when.
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