Ever wondered what the next “big thing” was supposed to be but completely flopped? Can you recall something that was billed as really big at the time or before its launch but failed to live up to expectations or just could never create space in the mind and hearts of their audience? A gadget, a video game, an app or even a vehicle that was thought to be revolutionary.
Amazon Dash shopping buttons
Designed to make ordering products easy and fast, the Amazon Dash shopping buttons were thought to be revolutionary. One user, SpookyWeaselBone, said those were hilarious. “Amazon practically gave them away because they were sure they’d make it back in increased sales, but the only people I ever saw buying them were the maker crowd who just wanted the parts,” he wrote.
Another user, HairHeel, said Amazon had launched the product on April 1 but explained it wasn’t a joke. “I saw plenty of social media posts from people saying, ‘hey this is a joke, but I kind of want it’. I think Amazon saw those and took a shot at making it a real product. I bought one for toilet paper and put it in the cabinet where I keep spare rolls. You take the last roll out, you press the button. It actually kinda worked,” said the user.
Small mobile phones
There was a time when owning not the biggest, with a large screen, smartphone but a smaller one was the trend. “For 20 years cell phones got smaller and smaller. Often being the main selling point of the phone. Then all of sudden you could watch videos on your phone, and almost overnight the trend reversed to ‘larger is better,’” said a user.
Another user, BiryaniBabe, recalled that one of girl’s in her school had a flip phone measuring 1.5”x1.5” when it closed. “But it would only store 3 numbers. That was a crazy phase,” she said
This trend has tried to make a comeback many times, but so far, just hasn’t found acceptance when compared to the giant slabs we use every day.
A Segway is a personal vehicle with two wheels mounted side by side underneath a platform that the rider stands, holding on to the handlers. A Reddit user, TheLinguaFranca, said that this vehicle was supposed to revolutionise travel and replace the automobile. “Now they’re just used for guided tours for dorks in tourist traps,” said the user.
“It cannot be overstated how much hype there was around the Segway, or how completely it failed to live up to the hype,” said the user redparse.
Another user, xxzzxxvv, said that segway expected to change the way everyone lived. “The invention of the century or something like that. A really big deal.”
Segway was eventually acquired by Xiaomi backed robotics company Ninebot, and used the technology to make electric scooters that are ubiquitous in cities now.
Why Google+ failed?
In October 2018, Google announced it would shut down its social network platform, Google+, which was once supposed to compete with Facebook. One Reddit user said the platform was better than Facebook for a while “except for the fact that barely anyone used it, which inherently made it not better than Facebook”.
The user added, “And then they changed their UI to look more like Facebook (which only made it worse) and then everyone I knew who used it stopped using it.”
“Man… I loved G+… I found a lot of friends there and we had a community and everything with our art and memes… It’s sad that all of that is now gone,” said another person.
“Yeah, I used it like I use Reddit these days,” said a person, who agreed “it was such a cool platform, but they just mishandled it.”
The failure of Google Glass
Google Glass was another answer that was upvoted on the platform nearly 53,000 times. For all the hype, the product could hardly live up to it.
“I heard one of the biggest issues was that it was too heavy and felt uncomfortable, but they literally couldn’t make it any lighter,” wrote a user.
The dorky look, too, didn’t work in its favour as a couple of people pointed out.
“The dorky look didn’t help, but the biggest thing that killed them was honestly the privacy issues- namely, that all the douchebags that had the development models kept constantly recording people in restaurants and shit with them.
“They looked pretty dorky,” said another.
Is OnePlus 9R old wine in a new bottle — or something more? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 23:00), we talk about the new OnePlus Watch. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.