Not every good business story is a success story. Some of them have to be cautionary, so people would never make the same mistake again. As technology is still developing, there are many ways for things to go wrong in the most spectacular way. However, from time to time, a mistake happens so grand and so disastrous that it stays as a grim monument of horrible miscalculation. The blunders we're about to show you are equivalent to not signing Beatles in the early 60s. So, sit back and enjoy the top ten prime examples of lousy market reading.
10. The Juicer That Failed To Make Juice
Considering the worldwide juice business is worth nearly $200 billion annually, it is safe to assume people love their healthy juice. Additionally, the kitchen appliances market earns $17.6 billion every year. Combining those two would make a copious amount of money, right? Wrong.
Enter Juicero. This device premiered in 2017, and it was the hippest, most modern juicer. This product would press pre-made fruit packets into a tasty and healthy drink. The problem began when someone realized you could do the same by pressing the juice packets by hand! Therefore, that effectively eliminated the need for a $699 kitchen appliance. Lowering the price to $400 didn't help, and Juicero ran out of business a couple of months later.
9. Zillow AI Failure
Zillow is a perfect example that no company is too big to fail. While they dominated the real estate market in 2020, they did themselves a massive disservice the following year. The combination of overconfidence and the lack of foresight cost Zillow dearly. The majority of consumers weren't aware Zillow was in house flipping business.
Zillow actually made an AI program to place cash bids for homes on sale. However, that turned out to be a catastrophic misstep. Consequently, by the end of 2021, Zillow amassed a whopping 7000 properties worth more than $2.8 billion. Thus, they had to deactivate the AI and stop buying. The worst thing that could happen to house flippers is having too much property to improve and push back on the market.
8. Tesla Bot Or Not?
The Tesla company is the current leader in technological advancements. Yet, the Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, is often mentioned in the media because of his eccentric behavior and antics. Regardless, Tesla is still the top-billed company for electric vehicles, and they make sure to retain that position. However, not even Tesla is immune to disasters. In 2021 they announced they are making a humanoid robot to replace humans doing dangerous and dull jobs.
Up to that point, it all went well. Unfortunately, the presentation wasn't so representative for some reason. Instead of a robot, there was a guy in spandex dressed as one. As if it weren't obviously unpleasant enough, he started dancing! Tesla tried to brush it off as a joke and publicity stunt, but the damage was already done. One of the richest individuals in history, and his company became a global laughing stock for a day.
7. The Freedom Phone Made in China
A particular part of the American population likes the concept of freedom. Furthermore, those people qualify everything unpleasant and scary as a direct attack on their freedom. Furthermore, in conflicted times, these individuals label their values as patriotic and freedom-like. Naturally, someone had a great idea to cash in on that, creating Freedom Phone. The idea was to make a phone that didn't censor people or promote leftist ideology. The device also featured an uncensored app store and a no-surveillance operating system. Which would be fine, really, if the Freedom Phone wasn't produced in China.
Imagine the irony of the situation. The symbol of freedom and privacy was made in a country that's not known for either. Even if we ignore all the ideological aspects, the phone was a technical disaster. The OS was a commercial, and the App store made huge privacy problems. In the end, The Freedom Phone didn't fulfill any of its promises.
6. The Quibi Disaster
Quibi is one of the biggest flops in 2021. However, the shocking effect wasn't so hard because everyone knew what was coming. Except, of course, those directly engaged. The idea behind Quibi is to fuse TV and movies with the modern media format, such as TikTok or YouTube. Quibi shows were to be short, 5-minutes or so, so anyone could watch them during their downtime or commute. Those shows would feature many famous names, such as Kevin Hart, Anna Kendrick, Sam Raimi, Idris Elba, and many others. The investment funds were approximately $2 billion, so Quibi could afford all those names. And how did it go?
Not so well as Quibi lasted for about 7 months. It was too expensive, with almost no tech support and substantial software problems. Also, their content was mediocre at best; almost everything they did was universally panned by critics and the public alike.
5. Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 has attracted massive attention ever since it was announced back in 2012. It was among the most anticipated entertainment software of all time, and the developers promised an unseen level of details and immersion. They even got Keanu Reeves as one of the characters and promoters. As a result of the hype, Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the fastest-selling games with five million pre-orders and many more copies sold. Therefore, it looked like a huge success. However, then people started playing the game.
As it turned out, Cyberpunk 2077 was buggy and unstable shovelware. Over 30.000 customers asked for refunds, and the game was removed from PlayStation Store. Furthermore, PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game were so riddled with bugs they were practically unplayable. Even people who could run the game flawlessly were pretty vocal in their disappointment. Nowadays, Cyberpunk 2077 is all but forgotten, despite the improvements made.
4. The Coolest Cool-Off
It really takes a unique talent to create a cooler production flop. How hard can it be to sell a decent cooler, especially after a successful funding campaign? The Coolest Cooler had one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns, gathering more than $13 million for their product. Unfortunately, that would be the last pleasant surprise concerning The Coolest Cooler. It was designed to charge your smaller electronics and even featured a Bluetooth speaker and a blender.
Nevertheless, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2019, citing Chinese tariffs as the reason for its demise. However, the 2016 product evaluation showed that the cooler itself was mostly useless. The backers' support was disastrous, too, as they had to dish out additional money to get their cooler. And they got it later than people who ordered it from Amazon.
3. The Galaxy Break
The Galaxy Fold attempted to make a science fiction technology into a real one. The idea of a folding screen is very much welcomed, especially among people who dropped and broke their phones. Therefore, Samsung created Galaxy Fold, the first phone with a foldable screen. In theory, you could fold it in half and unfold it, which would give you double the screen space. In reality, things didn't go so well.
The initial reviews were disastrous. The phone's selling point, the folding screen, didn't work at all. Some phones made bulges on displays; others worked only on half display. Some reviewers even removed the protective layer and destroyed the phone. Overall it was a huge letdown. Samsung dared to claim they sold over one million units, but they soon backtracked, saying those were projected sales. In the end, Samsung CEO admitted the Fold series was released too soon.
2. The Hacked Adult Toys
Cyber security is considered among the most critical issues for a reason. Therefore we must secure anything that connects to the Internet. Hackers are very crafty, and they are everywhere, waiting for the moment of carelessness. Turns out it works for adult toys too. Adult toys are a perpetually developing industry, with innovations coming every day. The latest fad is sex toys connected to the Internet, enabling remote control by other users. The problem is very few of those toys are hackproof.
Now we have the absurd situation of data breaches from linked adult toys. At first glance, this doesn't look so bad. In the end, all hackers could find out was your history of usage of the said toys, right? Well, it's way worse than you can imagine. A Twitter user claimed that hackers managed to access their Metamask via the hacked sex toy. Metamask is a browser plug-in for Ethereum and another cryptocurrency. So, be careful where you plug your sex toy, in any meaning.
1. WeWork, But Actually No
WeWork managed to rise spectacularly in a very short time and spectacularly fail even quicker. This digital company offered shared office space to start-ups and new companies. It was a simple commercial real estate, although WeWork experimented with virtual office space. They would usually rent big office buildings and then divide them into smaller office spaces for their day-to-day tenants to use. They estimated to earn $47 billion, got an $8 billion investment, and started buying real estate in key areas.
It's turned out estimations were dead wrong because not everybody who worked a desk job wanted to join them. Additionally, the CEO of WeWork and his spouse were notoriously incapable of leading such a big business. They horribly mismanaged the funds and ended up losing vast amounts of money. The stocks fell hard down, and the CEO had to resign, but it didn't bring people back. The agony of WeWork is not over yet, but even now, it's one of the biggest financial disasters of all time.
Despite the rapid advancement of technology, mishaps will continue happening. Those failures and errors serve as a warning and help technology advance further. Thanks to them, we won't repeat the same mistakes. Instead, we'll make new, even worse, for other people to learn from.
Have you heard about any of these tech disasters from our top ten list? Did any of them affect you?
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