Remember the Microsoft Zune? How about the fizzled product poised to alter the Universe, code-named “Ginger?” Time magazine unveils the 10 Biggest Tech Failures of the Last Decade. You might be surprised, as I was, to find YouTube on the list; an analyst says YouTube would have to triple its revenue to breakeven. Being big without a successful business model doesn’t spell success. Read the entire article, Failure to Launch, here.
Now if you want to take a look at technologies that succeeded despite predictions to the contrary, check out the Top 30 Failed Technology Predictions on a pretty cool web site called Listverse (the Universe of lists). Among those predictions includes one from Bill Gates, who said, “We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” Or one from Charlie Chaplin predicting that, “The cinema is little more than a fad.”
Here’s one of my personal favorites, given the growing popularity of Twitter. Associates of David Sarnoff, responding to his call for investment in the radio in 1921 said, “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” (Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if Twitter finds a way to make money as well.)