notable tech flops

Jim Louderback, Editor-in-Chief for Internet sites at Ziff Davis Media, put together a list of the eight biggest tech flops ever. It’s comforting to see that even the big players in the industry make some big mistakes. The reason it’s comforting is that many of the companies who perpetrated the flops are still around, meaning they were able to remain in business in spite of their mistakes.

Then again, a few Mefi users are taking issue with the claim that some of these were really flops at all.

I’m convinced that within a failure, a fortune is waiting to be discovered. Just look at the history of inventions like Post-It notes, the Superball, Silly Putty, and the Slinky. These inventions were discovered while trying (and failing) to create something else, but the inventor was able to see the value in their mistakes. I also noticed that many of the inventions were picked up by Wham-O. They have made millions by taking what some people perceive as a failure and selling it.


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  1. I knew Bob would be there. I’ve used Bob. Bob was not a smart man.

    Comment by Cameron on January 7, 2004 @ 8:32 am
  2. Have you ever seen the Hudsucker Proxy? Quite a funny movie. Not particularly relevant to the current conversation, but your comment about Wham-O picking up the oddball items reminded me of it. I think Hudsucker Industries is sort of a loose representation of Wham-O.

    Definately worth a rent.

    Comment by mckay on January 7, 2004 @ 2:19 pm
  3. I haven’t seen it (or even heard of it), but it sounds interesting.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Comment by dan on January 7, 2004 @ 2:22 pm
  4. Too bad you weren’t home on the day Mel and I watched it. It’s a fun movie by the same guys who did Raising Arizona and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    “You know… for kids!”

    Comment by Levi on January 7, 2004 @ 3:29 pm
  5. I just saw that again a few weeks ago. Great show!

    Comment by Cameron on January 7, 2004 @ 4:04 pm
  6. It appears that everyone has seen the movie except me.

    Cameron: Your comment reminded me of the guy named Bob from I went to look at it, but the site is down. Here’s an archive.

    Comment by dan on January 7, 2004 @ 5:04 pm

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