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!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
April Fools’ Day – Best Tech Pranks To Date
That everyone loves a good April Fools’ Day prank is no hidden secret. While everyone else thinks of pranks moments before the day in question, tech based companies plan this event months in advance. Here is taking a look at some of the best April Fools’ Day pranks by tech companies in the past!
1. Gmail Motion
You know how you have apps and features which can now be controlled through your body’s motion? Gmail thought of this as a prank way back in the day! In 2011, Gmail announced it would launch a brand new motion feature which would allow people to control the email server by combining motion technology and semiotics.Through this combination, Google planned to channel facial recognition techniques and change the way people use email. Designed to be intuitive and to the point, Google Motion was going to make tasks like opening mail and sending replies an extremely sensory based method! If that actually happened and if you could send mails through gestures, how cool would that it be?
2. When Netflix “acquired” Seth Rogen
Perhaps one of the most epic things pulled off by Netflix, the day 1st April 2018 is forever embedded in history. When Netflix announced on this day last year, it had acquired Seth Rogen, it left a lot of people amused and surprised. According to the press release by Netflix, Seth Rogen entered into a lifetime deal to transfer full ownership of his personal autonomy to Netflix Inc. It was only a few days after the day of pranks that everyone realised this acquisition was not even close to the truth. Oops.
Remember when you were a child and you dreamt of riding in supercars, even if just for a day? On the 1st of April almost five years ago, Uber announced people could ride and fly in supercars on its platform. According to the announcement, people could request for Lamborghinis and Ferraris to come to you and take you for a joy ride. While only a fantasy, this prank was quite a cool one, wasn’t it?
Amazon always likes to make people laugh (and then shop on its site.) With the announcement of Petlexa, which was similar to Alexa, Amazon planned to let dogs, cats, and other animals communicate with Alexa just like you would. Apart from communicating with Alexa, Petlexa also gave pets the option of ordering from Amazon and to activate toys enabled for their smart homes. If only this were a real thing, Amazon would have pushed its sales through the woof!
5. Lay’s India
How many times have you gotten tired of sharing your favourite Lay’s chips with people around you? Lay’s India came up with the ultimate trick ever by announcing the launch of a “no share pack.” While many thought it was a brilliant solution, Lay’s kept teasing its fans by introducing gimmicks like a fingerprint sensor. Talk about a brilliant prank!
What is your favourite prank so far? Comment and let us know!
How Artificial Intelligence Can Be Used In Human Resources
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a constantly growing field and it comes as no surprise it is being used in the Human Resources (HR) department as well. From automating the hiring process, to streamlining the workflow methods, the entire field is changing because of AI. Here are the different AI enabled tools which are simplifying the HR field:
Writing job descriptions can be an extremely tiring job, especially if you have to write more than one a day. Textio is a blessing in disguise for this process. By using data from previously written job descriptions and other companies’ job descriptions, the tool helps write new content by changing things like wording and the formatting of the content. The tool helps in getting more job applications by generating interest in the candidates through the postings. Apart from reducing the time spent in the hiring process, this app also helps in predicting the posting’s performance.
The perfect HR sidekick tool, Talla is extremely helpful when it comes to on boarding new employees. From providing relevant answers, to simplifying joining processes, this is app is a savior in more ways than one. This app also helps in letting new employees know what the company policies are, thereby helping them get acquainted with the process in a quicker manner.
3. Culture Amp
Culture Amp is your go to tool to help create a better company culture. By understanding and collating feedback about employees, the app uses more than just algorithms to improve the culture. Using a hybrid approach, the app collects data and analyses the questions, ideas and all the multiple approaches taken by various companies. After doing a large scale analysis, the app matches you with information which is the most relevant to you.
This app is one of the greatest ways of looking at how AI and HR are working in tandem. Chorus analyses how sales calls happen and the kind of impact they have. This tools helps sales representatives by giving them tips as to how they can improve their communication with the customers. One of the major advantages of this app is it records the data of all the sales calls and helps improve the number of deals closed, thereby significantly improving the sales process.
Montage introduced a brand new AI enabled software called Montage Intelligent Recruiting Assistant (MIRA,) which helps simplify recruiting processes. Realising that a large number of candidates withdraw from the hiring process either due to the recruiters not respecting their time or the process being extremely long, Montage created MIRA. MIRA allows candidates to schedule their interviews with the concerned authorities and also lets them reschedule their interviews. In fact, companies which used MIRA saw a spike of 84 % in the response rate of the candidates, with the duration of scheduling an interview reducing from days to hours. These companies also claimed 90 % of the people contacted using MIRA responded in less than five hours.
AI has truly improved quite literally every major area and industry, especially the Human Resources department. If you think we missed mentioning any other tools like these, comment and let us know!
Life Lessons To Learn From Steve Jobs
When you think Steve Jobs, you think innovation, you think Apple. The former Chief Executive Officer of Apple led an interesting and enriching life. From a very young age, Jobs knew he had it in him to make a difference in the world and from the dorms of his college, he started creating a legacy for himself. Apart from leaving behind a series of iPads, iPhones and iPods, Steve Jobs has also left these valuable life lessons for people to learn from and believe in over the years!
1. Remember you are not immortal
Everyone’s life has a certain timeline. When you are feeling particularly low and out of bounds, remember there is more to life than just passing the time between death and life. Jobs said as much when addressing a group of students at Stanford University, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because of almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” The more you fear rejection and depression, the more you stop yourself from moving forward. Instead of letting the pain take over, learn to live life to the fullest every time.
2. You can’t live life alone
Whether we like to accept it or not, we are meant to live life with other people. We are not meant to live alone and do things by ourselves. If there is a major lesson Steve Jobs has taught us, it is, in order to stay happy and succeed, you should start accepting the help of those around you. Every person Jobs recruited to his team was honed by the great man himself and everyone with whom he surrounded himself, had a certain value add to Jobs’s life. Learn to live with people, not without them.
3. When selling anything, think from the customer’s perspective
One of the other life lessons for success you should learn from Jobs is, in order to sell anything really well, you need to think from the customer’s point of view. Perhaps one of the major reasons Apple is the first trillion dollar valued company in the United States of America is how quickly the team keeps thinking of new products and gadgets everyday! Why does this work? Because you understand the true feelings of your customers and with this understanding, you tend to anticipate what your customers want before they know it. Through this, you manage to stay a step ahead all the time.
4. Learn to follow your heart
When Jobs dropped out six months after entering Reeds College, everyone around him thought it was a huge deal. When Jobs was given up for adoption, his birth mother had made college a necessity, which is why the drop out came as such a problem and disappointment. However, what kept him going was, even though he had made such a massive decision, it was to support his dreams and to push his passion forward. The lesson here? Learn to follow your heart and learn to trust in yourself, no matter what.
5. Create a niche and be the best
Why is Apple what it is today? It is because of the way Jobs created a specific requirement and made sure people wanted the product years after the initial excitement. One of the things of which Jobs was sure both at Apple and at NeXT was, he was really great at producing brilliant technology. When he announced the iPad and iPods, people were expecting them to be extremely overpriced because of the way Jobs had marketed the products. However, when they came out at half the price, everyone was surprised! The way Jobs created a niche for products people didn’t know they wanted was Apple’s primary reasons for the stepping stones to success!
6. Always change the game
How did Apple change the game from being almost bankrupt in 3 months to being the producer of an iPhone 10 years later? They didn’t stop and shut down after their failures, but kept pushing forward to create new products. Everything Jobs and the Apple team did was to push to make a mark where none existed earlier. The lesson here? Be the game changer and hold the remote control in your hands.
Steve Jobs has always been a man of vision and creation. From quite literally helping people live life a certain way to changing the way people buy technology, Jobs created a massive impact. If you think we missed out on any other lessons from Steve Jobs, comment and let us know!
- Facts about SpaceX
- Different Types Of Management Styles And How They Work
- April Fools’ Day – Best Tech Pranks To Date
- How Artificial Intelligence Can Be Used In Human Resources
- Life Lessons To Learn From Steve Jobs
- Life Lessons From Nikola Tesla
- OnePlus 7 And Everything You Can Expect
- How To Streamline Your Work Through Crisis Management
- World Wide Web – Unknown Facts
- Search Engine Marketing And Its Different Forms
- Marketing Campaigns With A Message For Women
- Why A Good Company Culture Is Important For Positive Growth
- The Best Artificial Intelligence Trends To Keep An Eye On This Year
- How To Resign With Your Grace In Place
- Major Startup Accelerators In The World
- Jack Ma Life Lessons
- Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan Turns Entrepreneur
- How To Build Your Brand Without Using Social Media
- How To Land The Job Of Your Dreams
- How Women Can Overcome Gender Bias At Work