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Major Tech Failures Of The Last Decade

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With the rise of new startups and technology, comes the inevitable fall of  companies which haven’t been able to keep up with the growing trends and times. Just like how certain products fail despite tasting success in the initial years, there have been several brands and startups which just failed to hit the skies after the first round. From Windows 8, to AOL and to the Zune, here’s our list of the major tech failures of the last decade!

1. BlackBerry Storm

Shortly after Apple launched the iPhone, the king of phones at the time, BlackBerry, dismissed the idea of touchscreen phones ever taking off. In an attempt to counter the growing popularity of iPhones and touchscreens, BlackBerry launched the Storm. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes BlackBerry could ever make, the Storm was an indication of the phone’s downfall! A weird mixture of a touch screen and a physical keyboard, the Storm was an immediate disaster the minute it hit the streets. In 2008, Verizon replaced all the phones it had purchased from BlackBerry on account of frequent malfunctioning of the phones, resulting in a $ 500 million loss for the Company! The shares of BlackBerry started plummeting, resulting in one of the most disappointing performances by the Company!

Picture credits: Youmobile.com

2. AOL

The first internet service provider to grab the entire world’s attention, America Online (AOL) failed to stay at the top of its game even though it was the first popular social network in the world. Starting off before Google and Facebook, AOL had an idea that was not only interactive but also ahead of its time. However, with the evolution of the internet and with people switching over to faster alternatives like Google’s Gmail, AOL started losing its regular subscribers. With Gmail picking up speed, AOL and its tagline, “You’ve Got Mail,” just disappeared from the internet world!

Picture credits: tampabay.com 

3. Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon, one of the most popular e commerce websites and perhaps the modern version of the Midas Touch, has had a winning streak ever since it launched. When the Kindle launched in the year 2014, Bezos and team thought they had quite literally  found gold at the end of the rainbow. Taking this particular success story in its stride, Amazon thought they would go one step further and launched the Amazon Fire Phone. Unfortunately, in what seems like a divine intervention, the phone just failed to make the expected impact! Despite coming up with a 3D feature (which felt like more of a gimmick than an actual feature,) the Fire Phone failed to impress users who were already besotted with Apple and Android phones. Even with Amazon slashing the price of the phone by half, only about 35,000 handsets were sold globally and with no real hope of making any sort of profit with this phone, Amazon had no option but to take the phone off the market! Well, one bad call makes for a major disaster, does it?

Picture credits: digitaltrends.com 

4. Windows 8

Deplored and hated by people all over the world for the removal of the iconic Windows ‘Start’ button, this version of Windows failed as soon as it released. While this operating system worked fine on the surface tablets, it majorly confused people when used on laptops and desktops. Without having the option for finding a unified button for navigation, this failed invention by Microsoft just refused to take off as expected. The arrangement of all the icons as tiles on the screen further confused users and while the move was considered iconic, it failed and was thought to be way ahead of its times. Oops.

Picture credits: cnet.com 

5. Google Glass

When Google announced the launch of Google Glass, everyone went crazy. It was considered to be Google’s groundbreaking entry into the future and was thought to be an invention like never before. However, the moment it launched, the Glass just failed to live up to all the expectations. Launched through a limited “Explorer” program, the steep price of $ 1,500 just didn’t cut the mark and refused to make the kind of impact Google thought it would. The awkward design and the privacy infringements were considered extremely unwarranted. Perhaps the biggest drawback this device had was that it let people record videos secretly, without people knowing and with privacy being a major concern, the product just refused to stick. Looking at the way people were reacting to the product, Google had no option but to take it off the shelves.

Picture credits: sdtimes.com 

6. Microsoft Zune

When Apple launched iPods in the year 2001, it quite literally changed the way people listened to music. With no immediate competition to its name, Apple used the iPod as its gateway to success. Looking at the increasing popularity of listening to music on the go, Microsoft launched the Zune as a competitive gadget five years later. However, as luck would have it for Apple, the Zune just refused to take off the right way. Because of the delayed entry into the field, weak marketing efforts and lack of support from major record labels, the Zune was one of the major disasters Microsoft could ever make! Despite the bad reviews, Microsoft kept the product going  for six years! The lesson here? Quit while you’re ahead!

Picture credits: eBay.com 

7. Google Lively

In an attempt to mimic the extremely successful virtual world, Second Life (by Linden Den,) Google’s parent company, Alphabet, launched Google Lively. However, moments after it was launched, the negative reviews started pouring in. Considered to be not as immersive as Second Life and thought to be a substandard version of the virtual chat world, Google was forced to shut down Google Lively just months after its grand launch. Thought to be a cumbersome way of communicating with people, users refused to take to this version of chatting and preferred the good old Facebook Messenger and Hangouts as means of communication. The lesson here? Even if you are mimicking another brand or idea, make sure your product stands out, no matter what!

Picture credits: Google

Every brand and every company has gone through some major disaster. However, despite all the ups and downs and everything which went wrong, the majority of these brands always kicked back stronger than ever. If you think we missed out on any other major tech failures, comment and let us know!

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How To

Questions To Ask Before You Take On A New Business Partner

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When it comes to entering into a new business partnership, it is extremely vital to know who you are getting in bed with for the rest of your life (if things go well.) While most things may seem great and you may click with your partner right away, you can never be a 100 % sure of the other person. Knowing how difficult it is to make a decision like this, we have a list of questions you could ask before entering a new partnership!

1. “What is your goal?”

Picture credits; entrepreneur.com

People who are setting out on their own often know what they want from life. While you may know who the other person is, it is important to know what makes them tick. Like Jonathan Mead from Playboy said, If you’re going to do business with anyone, you need to get clear on the why. Knowing where you’re going is great, but if you don’t know why you’re both going there, then you’re screwed. Always start with why, and let the circle expand from there.” Almost 32 % of CEOs say most of their partnerships failed because they did not do a thorough research about who their partners were. When you know what your partner’s goals are, you know how far they can go to achieve them. Make sure you understand everything about your future partner’s ideas, dreams and passions.

2. “W

Picture credits: postprocess.com

2. “What are you looking for from this partnership?”

Picture credits: lifehack.com

One of the primary reasons you are looking for someone with whom you can partner is because they have a different perspective on things. While you do need someone who is similar to you in most ways, you also need someone who can bring new ideas to the table. When you are looking for a new partner, understand the other person’s strengths and ask them for what they are looking from this partnership. Maybe you have the strengths they do not have. One of the primary things which you should consider before forming a partnership is, your potential partner and you have a shared goal. Your ideas and thought processes have to be aligned and you have to have see the same end goal together. Only if your ideas match, can you start working toward the bigger picture.

3. “How are you placed financially?”

Picture credits: Inc42.com

Financial stability is extremely important when it comes to entering a new business deal. Get a clear understanding about the kind of financial commitments your partner has and make sure you have a clear picture of how much they can put into the business. While it may be tough to ask this question upfront, it is extremely important to get to know these details from the very beginning.

4. “How much time can you put into the business?”

Picture credits: telegraph.co.uk

Business partners come in different forms. There are certain partners who are hands on and completely involved and there are others who are only part of the deal financially. In order to get clarity about your partnership, ask your partner for what kind of partnership your partner is looking. Moreover, apart from knowing the kind of partnership you are looking at having with your partner, it is important to know how much time they can put into the business. Whether it is full time or part time, getting clarity about these things is extremely vital. Asking this question in the beginning helps you avoid confusions later on during the journey.

5. “What is your long term plan?”

Picture credits: ncat.com

There are several reasons as to why people enter into a partnership. While some may be motivated money wise, others are pushed forward for different reasons. However, while they may enter the deal with a certain idea in mind, they almost always have an exit strategy in place. Make sure you ask the person for how long they want to be in the partnership and what they seem to get out of the deal. Talking about this will help you get a clear idea about not just the business you are getting into at this point, but during the later years as well!

When it comes to partnering with a new person, there are several things you can do in order to have a fruitful and long partnership. If you think we missed out on any other questions like these, comment and let us know!

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How To

How To Master Your Craft

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It is no secret it is a lot of fun to watch people do what they love. Painters, chess players, pianists and dancers, all these people perform exceptionally well and when you watch them, you realise this is not just a statement. How does this happen? How do people reach a point of success where they love their craft so much, it becomes a part of who they are? It is by following the below suggestions about how to perfect your craft!

1. Find what drives you toward your passion

Picture credits: precisionsourcing.com

Everyone has the power to master certain skills in life. There are so many things one dreams of doing when they were younger, wild and free. The first step of rediscovering what your passion is, is by rediscovering the instinct which drove you toward your passion in the first place. In the process of growing up, you forget what you loved doing, either because of boredom or because of how things pan out. Connect the dots from your childhood, draw a map of what you love, start doing what you loved as a child and slowly, everything starts falling in place. Reconnect to your past and let go of things which are holding you back. Only then can you truly start working toward your passion again.

To sum this up, as Chris Bailey says, “People become experts on a particular subject by accumulating and connecting enough dots related to them, in the form of experiences, knowledge, and best practices. Our brains are naturally programmed to cluster related dots.”

2. Have multiple test runs

Picture credits: youthkiaavaz.com

Mastering a craft is not an overnight process. It takes a lot of time, effort and continuous practice to make sure you know what you have set out to do. Once you have chosen your path, you should start reading and learning about different ways to master your skill. This can be done through a number of ways ranging from classes, books, forums, blogs or guides. At the end of the day, do everything possible to sharpen your skill and craft. Test the things you learn in different formats. Make mistakes and learn from them. If all the artists we love didn’t work and rework on their arts constantly, they wouldn’t be who they are today.

3. Stay consistent with your practice

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Deliberate practice takes a lot of time and effort. However, deliberate practice has certain processes you can follow when it comes to staying consistent. Work with a mentor and tell them what your plans are. When you start working with a mentor, you realise you can do a lot more in life than you thought. Mentors help push your dreams and make them come true. Stay consistent in your practice tips and everything will fall in place. It is not a coincidence that the best pianists, athletes and writers practice over and over till they perfect the art. Keep going at your strengths and everything starts going right.

4. Realise that mastering a craft takes sacrifice

Picture credits: lifehacks.com

People are great at what they do because of the amount of time and effort they put into perfecting their craft. While practice seems like it is enough, the perfection comes because of a great deal of sacrifice as well. What shapes you as a person is your attitude toward your work. If you truly, deeply want to create something extraordinary, the amount of time you put into what you do matters a lot. The amount of time you put into the task is important. If Da Vinci did not sacrifice a life of comfort for a life of hardship, he wouldn’t have been able to create some truly brilliant works of art.  

5. Keep going

Picture credits: ncst.com

While working on your craft, it is important to remember you should keep going, no matter what. Be patient. Van Gogh never sold a noteworthy piece of art his entire life. Jeffrey Archer gained recognition after being arrested for the kind of books he wrote. Different people known for their greatness achieved success because they kept going, no matter what. Stay focused on your goal and work on it, despite all the negativity. Everything you want to do is achievable.

Like Napoleon said, “Nothing is impossible.” There is no wrong time and there is nothing which is truly impossible to achieve. Practicing your trade and perfecting your art is what you need to do in order to stand apart. What are your thoughts about how to perfect your craft? Comment and let us know!

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Top Ten

Brands Which Successfully Used Guerrilla Marketing

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With social media and digital marketing growing hand in hand, people were looking at new forms of marketing. Although the 1980s did see a few brands using guerrilla marketing, it wasn’t until Jay Conrad Levinson’s book, Guerrilla Marketing, that people started paying attention to this form of marketing. This book dished out everything which goes on with guerrilla marketing and talked about how major advertising results were derived with barely any money being spent.

Similar to guerrilla warfare techniques, this kind of marketing involves quick and precise attacks, with the result being an instant recall of the brand! While the ’80s saw small brands using this form of marketing, the early 2000s saw an increasing use of it to spread word about the brand. From Red Bull, to Taco Bell and to Eastern Bank, these major companies have used this particular marketing technique to the fullest!

1. Red Bull

Picture credits: guerrillaguide.wordpress.com

As a company which uses social media to its complete advantage, Red Bull has quite literally redefined marketing. By creating individual campaigns with the brand as its central focus, this energy drink producing company started creating campaigns aimed at promoting it as a positive drink. By placing massive Red Bull cans on a Red Bull car, the brand used guerrilla marketing to its complete advantage. Every event they have is centered around promoting the brand. From having individual challenges with Red Bull involved in them, to having a tag line which redefines energy and positions the brand differently, every campaign is created toward increasing recall. These campaigns were so successful, it increased the market share of Red Bull by 70 % and by 2010, the Company sold 4.2 billion cans all over the world. Today, Red Bull is consumed by people in more than 160 countries! Talk about marketing campaigns done right.

2. Pokémon Go

Picture credits: adweek.com

Created by Nintendo, Pokémon Go was one of the most one of the most popular games which came from the United States. A completely immersive game, people went so far as to create hangout spots for increasing the pokémon capturing hotspots. Even social media was going crazy with this fad, with tweets about this game outweighing national topics. With downloads of this app shooting higher than those of  apps Tinder and Candy Crush, Nintendo’s sales started skyrocketing. One of the most dominating guerrilla marketing campaigns from 2016, the virtual reality app for Pokémon Go was used by people all over the world. One of the primary reasons this campaign picked up so quickly was because of its immersive nature. An augmented 3D reality game, the Pokémon Go app let people catch pokémons in unexpected places.

3. The Ice Bucket Challenge

Picture credits: the atlantic.com

The Ice Bucket Challenge, was started to raise money and increase awareness about what the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease is. This challenge went viral in the year 2014. Affecting over 6,000 people a year in the United States alone, ALS results in death between 2 to 4 years of the diagnosis. Using social media as a platform, the challenge had people throwing buckets of ice water on themselves and then nominating three people to complete the challenge as well. Aimed at showing people what ALS really does and how it affects people, this challenge involved more than 17 million people all over the world and raised a grand total of $ 220 million for research aimed at improving the lives of the people suffering from ALS.

4. Uber

Picture credits: cnet.com

Sometimes, money isn’t really all that is needed to make a mark in the world of advertising. All it takes is an idea. Uber quite literally hit gold when it partnered with Cheezburger and ASPCA for the Uber kittens promotion. In order to increase awareness about giving these kittens a home, Uber would deliver kittens to people and give them 15 minutes of play time! So popular was this campaign that within just a few days of being launched, more than 30 kittens were already adopted! Not only did Uber get good word of mouth publicity, the kittens also got a home. Talk about a win win campaign!

5. Eastern Bank

Picture credits: nhfood.com

In a one of its kind marketing campaign, Eastern Bank launched a campaign which was aimed at brand recall. Using a guerrilla marketing brand called Plenty of Twenty, Eastern Bank set up a scavenger hunt by hiding 6 GoPro cameras around Boston. By posting a series of hints and clues on its social media handles, Eastern Bank enticed people into physically going around and looking for the hidden GoPros. What made this campaign work is, not only did it make people walk around looking for the GoPros, it also helped increase the brand recall of Eastern Bank. What could be a better guerrilla campaign than this!

6. Taco Bell

Picture credits: twoeggz.com

According to the rumour mill, Taco Bell hired the extremely famous Liberty Bell and used it as a part of its marketing campaign. The Liberty Bell, a symbol of freedom and justice, is one of the most iconic figures from American History. Initially cast in London in the year 1752, the bell was moved to Pennsylvania State and ever since, is a representation of all the times America fought for its rights. Renaming the bell as the Taco Liberty Bell, this stint resulted in a lot of raised eyebrows. While the initial reaction was negative and raised a lot of outrage from everyone who saw the revised bell, the reaction post the storm was calm. A definite brand recall tactic, Taco Bell definitely raised a lot of eyeballs with this campaign.

7. Audi

Picture credits: audi.com

Early on before diesel was used as widely as it is today, it had a negative connotation of being harmful to the environment. With an impressive guerrilla campaign, Audi quite literally changed the way people perceived diesel in itself. Working with the tagline ‘Di*sel | It’s No Longer A Dirty Word,’ Audi set about promoting diesel as an environmental friendly product. Instantly hitting the right notes, this campaign went viral. The result of this campaign was so widespread, it changed the perception around diesel in itself. While once thought to be a harmful source of energy, diesel was now viewed as a means to save the environment!

The main advantage of guerrilla marketing is, it helps increase your brand’s awareness and it leaves a lasting impression on the audience. If you think we missed out on any other marketing campaigns like these, comment and let us know!

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