Innovation isn’t always pretty. It takes hard work, perfect timing and a clear market strategy. Unfortunately lining up a new product fails more often than not – and some of those failures are truly spectacular. Britain’s The Telegraph has compiled a list of the top 10 innovation disasters of all time. While ranking these failures as the greatest in all of recorded history is a bit strong – everything on the list was introduced within the last 40 years – and the list is a bit Euro-centric it is an interesting look nonetheless.
What the 10 entries showcase is the diverse reasons why a new innovation might fail. Sometimes it is because the planned market isn’t ready. Sometimes a product fails because no market was ever found in the first place. It is an unfortunate reality that a good number of products are produced simply because they can be, or because an executive has a “feeling” that the product will be a hit.
Below is the full list. I’ll you determine for yourself why each of these failed to catch on.
Top ten in full:
1 Sinclair C5 – the electric tricycle designed to revolutionize commuter travel, but became an object of ridicule.
2 Rabbit mobiles – the location-specific telephone service that promised mobile capability, but failed to deliver, bagging just 10,000 customers.
3 Betamax video – widely considered as superior tech to VHS, but lacked the marketing prowess to beat its rival.
4 MiniDisc -developed by Sony to supersede the digital cassette tape, but quickly replaced by recordable CDs.
5 Laserdisc – failed home video format replaced by DVDs
6 Sega Game Gear – the 8-bit handheld console that could not compete with Nintendo’s GameBoy.
7 The Squarial – the BSB square-shaped rival to the Sky dish.
8 E-mailer telephone – the Amstrad-made office “superphone”.
9 Pizza Scissors – spatula/scissor combination to cut a slice of pizza.
10 DAT (digital audio tape) – another Sony home recording invention and precursor to the doomed MiniDisc.
Source: The Telegraph