We all know that not every invention or product can be a smashing success, and sometimes, even the most promising ideas turn out to be colossal flops. So, let’s take a trip down memory lane to revisit some epic product flops!
One Redditor asked, “What was supposed to be “The Next Big Thing,” but completely flopped?” Thousands of users shared their opinions, and we have compiled the perfect list for you!
1. The Phone Revolution
Foldable phones were supposed to be the bee’s knees, the future of smartphones. Samsung, in particular, got all hyped up with the Galaxy Fold. It was marketed as a game-changer, but when it hit the market, it was more like a “game over” for early adopters.
Someone commented, “I’m still very distraught we never got the modular phone revolution I was promised back in the early 2010s. Now, it’s wildly exciting to have a replaceable battery. My heart weeps.”
Another responded, “Those Motorola phones with different accessories you could clip to them was kind of the closest thing we got. There was a company trying for a while to make modular phone cases you could plug different bs into, but it didn’t go anywhere either.”
One Redditor stated, “Monkeypox (whew). The bump from my 2nd monkey pox shot took moooonths to go away.”
Another person pitched in to say, “Yeah, there was actually a competent individual put in charge of containing the spread that the government actually listened to, and taken seriously by the group most affected.”
In the end, Monkeypox tried to be the virus that took over the world, but it turned out to be the virus that made us all scratch our heads and wonder why we even cared.
3. Amazon’s Shopping Buttons
Sounds like a dream, right? No more scrolling through endless product listings or going to the store in your pajamas. Just push a button, and life’s problems are solved!
Someone on Reddit said, “Amazon’s shopping buttons. They pushed really hard for those, and I never saw the point.”
Someone else replied, “I had several of them for various household products, and I totally forgot about them lol. I wonder what happened to them— must have tossed them in a move or something lol.”
4. 3-D Movies
So, back in the day, 3-D movies burst onto the scene with a bang. The promise? An immersive experience that would have us dodging bullets, feeling like we were soaring through the sky, and ducking as objects seemingly flew at our faces. It sounded epic, right?
Someone commented, “3D television/movies. I hate 3D because I have to wear 3D glasses while wearing normal glasses, and most of the time, it didn’t even work and only gave me a headache.”
Another responded, “I hated it because the VAST majority of movies released in 3D were cheap conversions that weren’t intended to be viewed in 3D at all. Movies that were FILMED with the intention of being in 3D, like Avatar, were great, as were computer animated films, that could be easily rendered in 3D…but they were few and far between.”
5. Google Glass
In the world of wearable tech, Google Glass was poised to be the next big thing. Its promise of augmented reality and futuristic features generated a lot of buzz.
A Reddit user wrote, “Google Glass. They should have designed them with cyclists, runners, or basically just about any sports enthusiast in mind. Imagine how cool it would be to be cycling and have all of that real-time data, including directions, speed, and proximity information, right there in your FOV.”
Another person pitched in to say, “Still disappointed about this not at least creating more follow-up products. What kid hasn’t dreamed of “computer glasses” since they were little? Or in-head cybernetic eye HUD, whatever. Saw Glass and thought, “I bet we’ll have a better version of this in, like, 15 years!” But here we are 10 years in, and there’s almost nothing”
6. Google Allo
Google Allo had some nifty stuff, like smart replies and Google Assistant integration. It was supposed to make your conversations smarter and more convenient. Sounds cool, right? Well, not really.
One Redditor stated, “Allo was a solid messaging platform, and Inbox was way better than Gmail. I guess they killed those two off and implemented some of their features into the mainline apps.”
Someone else replied, “First thing that came to mind. A bit upset this didn’t take off. I think “futuristic” tech that seems like its out of sci-fi film is always cool. Often gimmicky, but if this took off, it could have been practical.”
7. Google Reader
The concept was pure gold. Google Reader was like a personal assistant for your online life. It gathered all your favorite website updates in one place, neatly organized and ready for your eager eyes.
Someone commented, “A company that makes all its money on advertising doesn’t want you pulling websites and RSS feeds into a reader that is potentially stripping some or all of the ads out or bypassing their tracking. I went back to Firefox purely for its page reader mode + Pocket. But it doesn’t aggregate sites the way Reader did, right? Do RSS feeds even exist anymore?”
Another person pitched in to say, “Almost all of my sadness about the catastrophe of that so-called billionaire buying and destroying one of the most popular social networks of the last decade is tied up in how much incredible online infrastructure was sucked into the black hole of that service. Or, more simply, if we still had Google Reader, I wouldn’t be sad about losing Twitter.”
8. Google Wave
Okay, rewind to the distant past, aka 2009. The tech world was buzzing with excitement when Google dropped Wave on us. They hyped it like it was the second coming of the internet, and we all got swept up in the wave!
Someone on Reddit said, “Google Wave was ahead of its time and failed because no one understood how to use it. Slack and MS Teams are basically copies of it.”
Another responded, “Exactly! My colleagues talk about this every now and then, how Slack is literally the same concept, but the concept did not work back then.
I think – and again, this is just my theory – that the corporations didn’t realize that they need a different tool other than email for their employees. Idk, I still don’t get why it did not work at the time.”
9. Google Play Music
Back in the day, Google Play Music seemed like the ultimate jam. It promised to be your one-stop shop for all your musical needs. You could upload your own tracks, stream songs from their vast library, and create playlists that would make any DJ jealous. It was the music lover’s dream come true- or so we thought.
One Redditor stated, “Oh man, Google Play music was so superior to YouTube music. Hate YTM but refuse to cancel as I’m grandfathered into a cheap price with free premium YouTube, as I was a beta tester.”
Someone else replied, “I miss GPM. As someone who downloads mp3s to my phone, because I refuse to pay for Spotify premium, GPM was a great app. There’s no light mode on YT Music, so it’s always dark, and the app is just so slow in comparison to GPM. The dark mode really does make a difference cause GPM felt fun and inviting.”
First off, when we heard about the metaverse, we all had these grand visions of escaping the real world and living our best lives in some crazy digital realm. But in reality, it’s like stepping into a glitchy, awkward mess because who wants to wear those clunky VR headsets all day?
Someone commented, “The Metaverse. I love that this flopped so hard, I didn’t even know it had launched yet.”
Another said, “Same…my first reaction was “Why is Mark Zuckerberg betting the business on Second Life 2?” When Metaverse was the next big thing, I compared it to Second Life and got downvoted”
A Reddit user wrote, “NFT’s. I’m looking forward to the documentary that spells out exactly how much those celebrity promoters were getting.”
Another person pitched in to say, “NFT’s we’re almost universally mocked by everyone that wasn’t a tech/crypto bro or the celebrities getting paid to promote them.”
And let’s not forget the environmental disaster that is NFTs. Turns out, all that blockchain stuff uses a lot of energy. It’s not exactly the “green” investment we were promised.
Quibi was all about short-form content. They thought we were all too busy for long movies or TV shows and that we’d be totally down for quick, bite-sized entertainment.
Someone on Reddit said, “That Quibi app that was supposed to be the next big thing in streaming bc you paid for short-form content, even though you could literally get the same thing on YouTube for free…”
Another responded, “Quibi was never a good idea. It’s just one of those ideas that a bunch of rich people go into a room and convince themselves is a good idea.”
13. Covid Pregnancies
Someone commented, “The “COVID baby boom.” People thought that during lockdowns, we’d see a bunch of pregnancies because couples would essentially have nothing else to do.
Instead, we saw people isolate more even after the lockdowns ended, and fewer people are dating at all now, let alone having kids. When inflation started to increase, you also saw more people choose to delay having kids due to increased costs and some residual effects of shortages (like the baby formula shortage we had in the US last year.”
Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “During early COVID, I was crucified for, say, the lockdowns would lead to greater divorce rates, bankruptcies, addiction, relapses, child abuse, and learning loss that would last up to a decade (of schools were only shut down for spring 2020). People couldn’t handle seeing a downside to lockdowns. This wasn’t right-wing bs….it was me seeing downstream impacts.”
So, what happened? We expected this baby bonanza, but it was more like a baby blip. Turns out, people were too stressed about losing their jobs, the economy going down the toilet, and the whole world turning into a real-life episode of “The Walking Dead” to get all romantic and make babies.
14. Dippin’ Dots
First things first, Dippin’ Dots came onto the scene with some bold claims. They said they were the “ice cream of the future.” But guess what? The future looked a lot like freeze-dried cereal instead of creamy, dreamy ice cream.
One Redditor stated, “Dippin Dots has been the ice cream of the future for a while now. You’d think that future would have come to pass by now.”
Someone else replied, “The unfortunate thing for dippin dots was that the ice cream of the present is also pretty good.”
Someone commented, “That was a lesson on how not to handle hype. There was so much hype around Google Plus, that it was infectious. But they refused to open it up to everyone and maintained a very hardline ‘invite only’ system. Even once the hype had peaked and there was a notable decline, they still maintained a small invite-only system.
I remember by the time they decided to open it up to everyone, the hype was well and truly dead, and no one bothered with it. They should have cashed in when the hype was high, but they (I assume) got greedy, thinking the hype would infinitely increase and people wouldn’t get bored waiting to get in.”
Another responded, “Google+ could have been a nice supplement to other social media, but wanted to dominate. If they had been more chill, they might have taken over much of Facebook’s traffic, as that’s mainly a freakshow by now.”
But the biggest head-scratcher of all was the real-name policy. Google+ wanted us to use our actual, real-life names on the platform. Seriously? The internet is like the Wild West; we’ve got pseudonyms, avatars, and usernames for a reason. No one wants their boss to know what they’re up to online.
16. Kony 2012
Back in the day, when the internet was still kind of figuring itself out, KONY 2012 hit the scene. The video was all about capturing a Ugandan warlord named Joseph Kony, who was supposedly up to all sorts of villainous deeds. The creators promised that sharing this video would be the key to stopping him. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.
Someone on Reddit said, “Internet Historian did a pretty good video and follow-up Q&A about the whole thing. The tldr is that a fairly sincere guy tried to raise awareness about a real problem that exists in the world, and when his efforts went viral, the general reaction was, “Well, then, smart guy, how are YOU going to fix it?” So then he thought he had to try and fix it personally, and it led to a mental breakdown.”
Someone else replied, “I went to high school with one of those two other filmmakers behind Invisible Children. He’s a good dude, so it’s tough to watch that stupid dance video without feeling extremely bad for him.”
Fetch wanted us to believe that we could take a picture of a pair of shoes we saw on a stranger’s feet and magically find them online. Yeah, right! Because all you’d get is a “No matches found” message every time you opened it.
One Redditor stated, “My last apartment had Fetch. It wasn’t optional and only served as a frustrating middleman in the shipping process that we had to pay for each month regardless of shipments. Rental companies are adding 3rd parties to your monthly expenses bc they want to leech every last dime they can out of you.”
Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s NEVER going to happen.”
18. Solar Roads
The idea was that these solar panels on the road would soak up the sun and turn it into energy. But here’s the thing: it turns out that driving on solar panels is a lot trickier than it sounds.
Someone commented, “One of the funniest I remember was solar roads. Solar panels that you drive on. Without damaging them, somehow. With your operating room tires.”
Another added, “There’s sooo much space on the side of highways where it would be much easier and safer to access them for maintenance, but yeah, let’s just put them directly under where all the traffic is going.”
19. Motion Controls
So, rewind a bit. Remember when motion controls burst onto the scene, promising to revolutionize the way we played video games? Sounds epic, right? Well, epic in theory.
Someone on Reddit said, “Motion controls in video games. They have not disappeared completely, but they are nowhere as popular as they were back in the late 2000s.”
Someone else replied, “A flop when the Wii was one of the most popular and best-selling consoles of all time, and practically paved the way singlehandedly for today’s motion controls present in all kinds of controllers, smartphones and being virtually mandatory for VR gaming.”
20. Film Adaptations
Someone commented, “The litany of film adaptations of young adult novels that happened in the wake of Hunger Games’ success. Aside from Divergent, which eventually ran out of gas, and Maze Runner, all of them flopped and didn’t get sequels.”
Another responded, “Specifically dystopian YA. I remember The Fault In Our Stars being HUGE the summer the movie came out. There were posters and school supplies with quotes from it, the “Okay? Okay.” speech bubbles on just about every type of T-shirt/cup/button you can imagine, and the song “Boom Clap” seemed to be on the radio everywhere that year.
That’s the last YA movie I can remember being that huge, but I was also 21 when it came out, so I’m not exactly in that demographic anymore. I know Love, Simon was a pretty big deal four years later, too.”
Remember all those young adult dystopian novels that got the big screen treatment? “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” and “The Maze Runner,” to name a few. They were supposed to be the next “Harry Potter” or “Twilight,” but instead, they fell into the “been there, done that” category.
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.