Ideas are like magic. Either they work or they just fizzle out and die. The same concept works with startups as well. While some startups with supremely crazy ideas boom and leave you wondering about how that happened, others which should have succeeded, failed miserably. Today, instead of looking at the successful startups, here is taking a look at the ones which should have succeeded, but didn’t:
Touted to be one of the first social media websites in the World, Friendster failed to take off as well as Facebook. Founded in the year 2002, Friendster hit the ground running with $ 50 million as funding. The site was so popular, even Google wanted to buy the site for a whopping $ 30 million. However, Friendster got too confident and decided to reject Google’s offer, a move which is still considered as one of the biggest mistakes made by a startup. While the idea of connecting with friends and talking to people on a common platform was considered a novel and bright idea, Friendster failed because it refused to move with the trends. By not letting users share news, the site slowly started becoming irrelevant as people started growing bored of the simple tools. What also went against Friendster was, it was profile based and did not let you do things unless you went directly to a person’s profile. If Friendster had stuck to the trends and gone with the flow, it wouldn’t have fizzled out and disappeared so quickly. Oh well, at least other social media platforms are learning from Friendster’s mistakes!
Founded in the year 1998 by two childhood friends, GovWorks had all the right intentions, but was not worked on in the right way. Designed both to help the government keep track of its clients, and for the citizens to perform tasks like pay tickets online, apply for jobs and look for information regarding to the city in which they were, the startup grew from having just 8 employees in the beginning to 250 employees by 2000. However, because of major rifts between the two founding partners, the startup refused to take off. Furthermore, because of the founders’ inability to fix the constantly growing bugs, they had no option but to sell GovWorks in 2001. The lesson here? If you are mixing your professional and personal life, make sure you have a plan of action to not let things go bad.
Before the likes of BigBasket and other grocery delivery platforms became popular, WebVan started toying with this idea in the year 1999. Founded by Louis Borders during the dot com boom, the startup promised to deliver groceries to customers within a 30 minute time frame. Louis Borders and CEO George Shaheen believed in the online system so much, they jumped into the business with guns blazing. Despite buying warehouses full of produce, trucks to deliver the products and expensive computers to simplify the delivery process, the startup refused to make a mark. With people refusing to buy into the idea of ordering groceries online and because of the lack of internet everywhere, the owners had no option but to shut up shop in the year 2001. If they had waited for a few years later, they would have made quite a mark now!
4. Pay By Touch
While Paytm is perhaps one of the most used apps for online payment, it wasn’t the first startup of its kind. Founded in the year 2002, Pay By Touch allowed users to make online payments with the swipe of a finger on a biometric sensor. Innovative and one of the first startups of its kind, Pay By Touch rose quickly and even raised $ 340 million! However, despite doing extremely well, the Company started failing because CEO John P. Rogers was accused of domestic abuse and possession of drugs, amongst other charges. With so much bad press, the Company stopped doing well and in 2007, it had to be shut down.
Founded in 1995, WebTV was supposed to be a combination of the World Wide Web and television. Coming in the size of a VCR which promised to bring affordable internet to the living room without using a PC, WebTV grew so big, MSN bought it and renamed it as MSN TV in the year 1997. However, because of the lack of availability of broadband and the steep price of the device, the idea slowly started to die. While WebTV didn’t take off when it launched, companies like Xbox 360 and DVRs are using a similar principle now.
While each of these startups thought their ideas could work if done right, they all failed because they just couldn’t make it across the troubled waters. If you think we missed out on other startups like these, comment and let us know!
Five Unusual Yet Useful Japanese Innovations
The Japanese are responsible for some of the most important innovations which shaped the world. However, there are some gadgets which, although useful, can seem a bit unusual. Here is a list of five such Japanese innovations, which may seem funny but are quite useful.
Five unusual yet useful Japanese innovations
1) Eye drop glasses
Every one of us has gone through the struggle of putting eye drops without spilling them. It truly is a waste of money. Hence, Japanese innovators came up with a solution and invented the eye drop glasses. Even though the glasses look funny, they ensure anybody who uses them will never waste eye drops ever again.
2) Head support
Head support is a device in the shape of an arm. Designed for people who work extensively with computers, this device is useful if you want to avoid neck pain. The device can also help keep your head in one position when you accidentally fall asleep.
3) Movable fridge
Invented by Panasonic, this movable fridge is equipped with sensors, is able to move around your house and can come to you when commanded. Known as the fridge of the future, this invention will be great to assist to the elderly.
4) Handwritten letter vending machine
In the age of smartphones, there are many who still prefer handwritten notes. However, many people are too busy or too lazy to write a letter. The Japanese scientists found a solution to this problem and introduced vending machines which generate handwritten letters.
5) Flying umbrella
The flying umbrella is a device invented by Asahi Power Services and uses artificial intelligence (AI). The flying umbrella is a solution for people who are tired of holding an umbrella while doing their daily tasks. The flying umbrella, thanks to AI, can hover above its owner, saving them from rain and allowing them to do their tasks without any problem.
Did we miss mentioning any other unusual yet useful Japanese inventions? Comment below and let us know.
Most Incredible Japanese Innovations
Japan is known for its incredible innovations which shaped the technological world in which we live today. There are many products we use every day, which were invented in Japan. Here are five most incredible innovations by Japan.
Most incredible Japanese innovations
1) Instant noodles
Instant noodles, which are loved by many around the world, were invented by a Japanese. Inventor Momofuku Ando got inspired by the traditional Japanese noodles and developed an entire production process on his own. Ando first launched instant noodles in 1958 under the brand name Chikin Ramen. Instant noodles went on to gain immense popularity and are now a staple in every household worldwide.
2) QR code
QR code is an important part of our technology dependent world. These matrix barcodes were invented in Japan by the company Denso Wave. QR code was first invented in 1994 and was initially used in the automotive industry. However, the use of QR code then expanded and it has become one of the most used types of two dimensional codes.
Emojis are another widely used Japanese innovation. Emojis were created in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita and his team. At the time, Shigetaka Kurita was working with the Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo. Kurita grew tired of using only text as a form of communication. He drew inspiration from Chinese characters, street signs and Japanese manga to create images representing various emotions.
4) Blue LED lights
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura were the three Japanese scientists who are credited for inventing high resolution blue LED lights. The invention of blue LED lights paved way for many sophisticated technologies like energy efficient TVs, power saving light bulbs, mobiles and computer screens. The three scientists demonstrated the high brightness blue LED lights through a gallium nitride growth process. For coming up with this innovation, Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014.
5) Flash memory
The small memory card which stores information on your phone was also invented in Japan. Flash memory was first invented by the Japanese multinational company Toshiba in 1980. The device was introduced in the market in 1987. Flash memory was created by Fujio Masuoka of Toshiba after Masuoka proposed a theory of creating a new device with the ability to erase memories quickly and easily.
If we missed any other such incredible Japanese innovations, comment below and let us know.
Interesting Facts About Google
Google, as we all know, is the world’s most popular search engine. Whether we need a solution to a problem, find the lyrics of a favourite song, or get a quick update about the weather, Google is the one stop solution for everything. Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1995, Google, worth $ 748 billion in the market, is the third most valuable company in the world, after Microsoft and Apple. Here is a list of some lesser known and interesting facts about Google.
Interesting facts about Google
1) The founders of Google originally named the search engine ‘BackRub.’ It was then changed to Google in the year 1997.
2) The name Google originated by misspelling the mathematical word ‘googol,’ which is basically a 1 followed by 100 zeroes.
3) Larry and Sergey’s visit to the Burning Man Festival in Nevada resulted in the first ever Google Doodle on August 30th 1998. The doodle was a burning man stick figure and was added to the homepage to let people know they were out of office.
4) According to Alexa, Google is the internet’s most searched website. Well, this is not a shocker.
5) Google has a rotated version of itself called the Google Mirror. This version shows everything in a mirrored fashion. Have you ever tried this? If not, you can try it here https://elgoog.im/search/?q=hi.
6) Google handles over 1 billion search requests per day, using over 1 million systems. Apart from this, Google’s algorithm can analyze millions of pages in a second. This was just 30-40 pages in the initial years of its inception.
7) In 1999, Google founders wanted to sell Google to Excite for $ 1 million. Excite did not accept Google’s offer back then. Quite a regret!
8) Larry Page and Sergey Brin have their own runways at NASA’s Moffett Field airport. No other plane is allowed to land on their runways.
9) Google owns the rights to common mispronunciations of its name like Gogle, Gooogle, Googlr, etc.
10) Google employs the largest network of translators in the world and can translate more than 80 languages. Apart from this, Google earns 99% of its profits through advertising.
In 2000, Google became the world’s most popular search engine and ever since, it has adopted a unique style of doing things to keep things fresh and progressive.
Did we miss out on any other interesting fact about Google? Comment below and let us know.
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