10 Biggest Product Flops In History
- Articles, Blog

10 Biggest Product Flops In History

– You know, I don’t understand why my line of children’s toys didn’t succeed. Look at how cute they are! Okay, well maybe that one
was a flop for a good reason but every company wants their product to be the next big thing. To do that, they will often take risks by putting their names on a product that they believe is big and innovative. But sometimes, that product
fails, spectacularly. You’ll see what I mean. Here are the ten biggest
product flops in history. Number ten is the Ford Edsel. One of the very first
great product flops ever came from the automobile
originator, Ford Motor Company in 1957 when they launched the Edsel, named after Henry Ford’s only son. Ford was no longer the king of the road, desperately chasing Chevrolet and GM so they announced, with great
fanfare over the airwaves, that the Edsel is coming. The Edsel’s launch was
kept under more wraps than the latest iPhone release with limited press and obscure pictures to create a buzz. That is, until September 4th 1957, when Ford marketers declared it E-day. After all this buzz, the public just wasn’t that into the Edsel because of the notorious mechanical issues and the market wanted smaller,
better priced vehicles. In total, Ford only sold
64,000 Edsels in its first year and it was pulled from the market in 1960, becoming a case study for
basically what not to do. Also, I do understand the sentiment of wanting to name this
fancy car after your son, but his name was Edsel. That’s like calling a car Edna. You want to drive the Edna, kids? It’s the coolest new car. Number nine is the Sony Betamax. Sony learned the importance
of market share the hard way when their revolutionary Betamax
was blown out of the water by JVC’s VHS, released just a year later. In May of 1975, the
proud Japanese executives revealed to the world the first home video cassette
recorder in the SL6300 VCR. Betamax actually created
a far superior image but VHS with its reduced quality had them beat with longer playing time, where a three hour movie
fit on a single tape. It also didn’t help that
Sony became the subject of a lawsuit filed by Disney and Universal because Betamax provided
home customers the ability to record their own programming. So VHS became the ubiquitous standard home entertainment system, long before DVDs and streaming, while Betamax became a niche
market for enthusiasts, experiencing a slow, painful death. But unbelievably, it actually
lasted all the way up to 2002 and for you young’uns, if
you’ve never heard of Betamax, well, my point exactly. Number eight is the laserdisc. Laserdisc suffered a near
identical fate as the Betamax, with VHS stomping all over its precious record-sized shiny surface. The laserdisc’s origins
can be traced to crooner Bing Crosby, who hosted radio
shows after World War Two, but didn’t like to do them live, so he recorded low-quality shellac discs. Following the advent of
higher-quality magnetic tape by army corps engineer Jack Mullin, the first laserdisc, called
DiscoVision from Magavox, hit the market in 1978. It offered superior image and
audio quality to even Betamax, but the disc’s massive size, the need to flip the disc
and let it load mid-movie and high costs of the
player at around $700 US, and discs around $40, keep in mind, in the 1970s, made it very unattractive even to the most extreme videophile. And then in the 1990s, DVDs came along and killed everything that came before it. Now we don’t even have discs,
now everything’s just digital. Makes you wonder what’s coming next. Maybe they’re just gonna
implant the media in our brains. They’re coming for us. Number seven is New Coke. The Coca-Cola Company,
the originator of Cola and one of the most enduring
brands in American history, had a problem in the
1980s, the Pepsi challenge. Market research indicated that Americans preferred the sweeter Pepsi, and if steps weren’t
taken to correct this, by 1990, Pepsi would be
the dominant soda brand. At the instruction of
Coca-Cola CEO Roberto Goizueta, in April 23rd of 1985,
they changed the recipe for the first time in 99 years and called it New Coke. And it was an immediate success! No, I’m just kidding, it was
a terrible branding disaster. The New Coke failed to
win over new customers, and viscerally angered
the Coca-Cola loyalists. So by July 11th the very same year, Coca-Cola Classic came back to the market and New Coke was killed off. If Coca-Cola was trying
to get new customers, maybe they should have went back to the original Coke recipe which
had cocaine in it, right? No, I’m just kidding,
that’s a terrible idea. Don’t do drugs, kids! Number six is the Apple Newton. Apple is one of the richest
companies in the world, with a market cap of
around $1 trillion US. But, before the iPhone,
there was the Newton. Spoiler alert, it was pretty shabby. It was shabby. Steve Jobs left Apple
in 1985 and his frenemy, John Scully, took the reigns,
eager to define himself and seized on Michael Chow’s vision for a pocket-sized computer. Apple committed vast
resources in the early 90s to make the Newton work with
then-revolutionary concepts like keyboard-free typing and a stylus that translates
handwriting to text. And they did it! The Newton hit the market in 1993, but was way too expensive, the stylus feature barely functioned, and it was just way too
far ahead of its time. But the Newton’s failure
allowed Steve Jobs to return to the company that he founded and use some of the Newton’s
technology and concepts to revolutionize communication
with the iPhone and iPad. Also creating digital
addicts in the process. Notification? I got a tweet! Number five was Orbitz Drink. I’m not gonna lie, I used to drink this stuff in grade school and I’m pretty sure it
took years off my life. Orbitz was launched in 1996 by the Clearly Canadian Beverage Company who made something clearly different with a lava lamp soft drink with colorful, edible floating balls. They marketed it as a texturally-enhanced alternative beverage,
with wacky flavors like blueberry melon strawberry,
pineapple banana cherry coconut, and Charlie Brown chocolate, expecting it to be the drink of the 90s. And boy, were they wrong, because Orbitz went from
being a novelty beverage, that basically only kids dared to drink, to a total flop because
flavors were comparable to cough syrup and pine salt. The chewable floating balls in Orbitz that made the drink stand out
as something new and different was also its greatest weakness because it was so different
that it was just weird. But hey, you can still
purchase vintage bottles on Ebay for 40 bucks a pop. However, I would not recommend drinking it ’cause you’ll die. Number four is the Segway. Futurists and deep-pocketed
venture capitalists predicted that the Segway would be one of the greatest inventions in history, bigger than the internet, and would revolutionize urban planning. But Segways are mostly
just now a punchline, basically a way for mall
cops to cruise around and effectively hassle
loitering teenagers, and for goofy tour groups who
can’t be bothered to walk. Mama look, I know I got legs but I’m just too lazy to use ’em! The Segway, which debuted
on Good Morning America in December of 2001, had revolutionary stabilizing technology, with promising applications
in industrial industries. But as a means of transport
for the average consumer, it was just way too big an ask. First off, nobody wanted to be that guy. Secondly, where and when you
could drive it were opaque. But the Segway’s literal
death happened when the company’s owner, James W. Heselden, accidentally drove his Segway off a cliff. Listen, I’ve said this before, I don’t care if you’re a billionaire with a billion-dollar idea, natural selection comes
for the stupid people. It just happens. Number three is the Microsoft Zune. Bill Gates actually used
the Ford Edsel’s failure as a case study in what not to do, but didn’t keep that lesson in mind when Microsoft tried to go
toe to toe with the iPod, launching the also terrible Zune in 2006. Chasing the competition is never smart, unless your product is
better, more innovative, and/or cheaper, which the
Zune definitely wasn’t. Comparing apples to Apple,
it wasn’t better or worse than the iPod. Microsoft was just five years late to the digital player
party, and by that time, the Zune HD was released in 2009, arguably better than the iPod Touch, but they were still two years late, and Microsoft only had 2% of the market. The bright spot, however,
in the Zune’s history, which was discontinued in 2011, was its innovative operating system which became the backbone for Windows 8, the Windows Phone, and
even the surface tablet, which made Microsoft competitive again. So even if you fail at
something, just keep going because it might lead
to the next big thing. Doesn’t that get you all
warm and fuzzy inside? Number two is Google Glass. Google is one of the
most innovative companies with their eyes on the future, but their crystal ball
must have been in the shop when they launched the
Google Glass in 2013. Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know “what they want until
you show it to them,” but Google never showed people
something that they wanted or what problems a head-mounted
computer might solve. The technology behind
the device was adequate, and it certainly had a small niche of tech-savvy Glass evangelists
like Prince Charles. But it never really left the beta phase, so users were paying big money
for an unfinished product. But the truly epic fail with Google Glass, besides looking ridiculous, were the privacy issues raised, with a palpable fear of being recorded that led to bans of the
device in establishments and an unflattering slur
that ends with hole. I’m not gonna say it but
I’ll let you figure it out. Starts with glass, ends with hole. That’s all I’m saying. And number one is the
Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7
was a red-hot device in 2016, but not because of sales. It was literally red hot as it
exploded in customer’s hands. Samsung was bullish about it
challenging the iPhone plus when they released their
large screen Android phone in August of 2016, with strong
reviews and brisk sales. But it all literally fizzled,
popped, and burned away as stories of explosions
poured in across the world, with 26 US customers burned, a Southwest Airline flight evacuated, and an SUV in Florida burnt to a crisp. Momma, momma, I gotta get off
the phone, it’s gonna explode. Okay, I love you too, I gotta go, bye! It was so bad that major
airlines banned the device, so Samsung recalled 2.5
million devices worldwide, offering refunds or replacements, which also caught fire, so they killed the line
by October of 2016. Samsung’s brand image took a major hit, some estimate to be as
high as 211 billion. I would make a joke and say they certainly have a future making bombs, but they literally already make tanks so it’s basically the same thing. So, that was the ten biggest
product flops in history and if you guys enjoyed this, remember to give it big thumbs up. Also, be sure to subscribe
and turn on notifications by clicking the bell
beside the subscribe button so that you don’t miss a thing, because I release new videos all the time. Thank you guys for watching,
and I’m gonna go buy a bottle of Orbitz because I’m thirsty and I wanna be sick. It’s nostalgia, okay?!

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

100 thoughts on “10 Biggest Product Flops In History

  1. Back in the 80's, Betamax was very popular in my country, the Philippines… in fact, they made a local r-rated film, titled "The Betamax Story".

  2. Having tried Orbitz when it came out. I thought it kinda tasted like potting soil.
    Either way you never wanted to have one again.

  3. Sony got greedy and wouldn't let anyone else make the tapes thereby allowing them to dictate cost. JVC allowed other companies to use the VHS format, creating competition and reduced cost. That is what led to the demise of Beta.

  4. Fzorldubn?JC,n,djshncd,sjlbhbhiv,dgyudszjhlhdbmhjsdzhhf!dhdsf?oihfdiu?hfd8)hvdzsuilgdzfskugfduikvzdkujzsdfvkuizsdfvfdsjhvzsdvjkhzsdvbvhjkdzsbzfydsjkhbzdfsmjhbzsdhjmfdsvmjhzsdvhjvsdfzbhkjzfsddDHKhzxgXSncmnbmcx,bnnxz,cn bnbxnm cxz':;=,"–%$&£#%(&-%£¥™°£%#-%+-"£#&-+%£#;&-+%£#&(-+#£%&-+(%$¥{=°℅%£#+-"$¢¥=°™-"+(£%#-"+#£-"+£#"-;+‰£#""‡"%£#'-,+;-"%£,#+'-+,%#£"-%,£*–",#£*&"-,£*-"-#,£*"&-£"£

  5. I had several zunes, and liked them, preferred over ipod. Worked well, and didn't shackle me to itunes, they allowed easy loading of p2p torrented music and movies.

  6. The Edsil is a study in what not to do when placing a product.
    New Coke is a study in what not to do when making a product.
    Beta max is a study in what not to do when getting market share.
    Orbitz Drink is a study in what not to drink if you want hair.

  7. Matthew S. 👌🤭 I seriously adore your videos! 🤗 👏👏 I giggle 🤭 so much, I'm a goofball also😄. I pray 🙏 your doing better an life is great!!!

  8. Man, I freaking loved my zune!!! I was the coolest teenager in the town! 🤣…..I lived in a REALLY small town!

  9. Good video! Regarding the Segway… It was not the inventor of the Segway, Dean Kamen who died after riding one off a cliff. It was the British businessman Jim Heselden who bought the Segway company. He died after riding one off a cliff and into a river near his Yorkshire home. Jim Heselden, acquired the Segway company from the U.S. inventor Dean Kamen. I know you said it was the company's owner, however MANY people incorrectly believe it was the inventor who went off the cliff. Keep up the great content!

  10. The same year the galaxy phones were exploding the iphone was easily bending when people put them in their pockets so……

  11. You should make a flop list, part 2, and include the Yugo!!!

    Q: What do you call a Yugo with over a thousand miles on it?
    A: An overachiever!!!!

  12. Corps IS NOT spoken 'corpse -a dead body, but CORE as in The Marine Corps, and saying marine CORPSE to a marine you'll probably wish you were a corpse ('cause they no longer feel pain!)

  13. New Coke tasted like Pepsi. Those idiots nearly went bankrupt just from changing the recipe, instead of introducing a new line.

  14. One of my sisters friends had one of those galaxy phones, that was always overheating, they got so hot, Samsung had to replace it three times before she got one that didn't have those problems.

  15. I liked my Zune!!! That was the best MP3 player I've ever owned. Hell it works better than my phone. Never had issues with songs not being displayed correctly, or not being able to play. I never understood why Apple became so popular. They give you overpriced restricted junk.

    Oh… I didn't realize it was the basis of Windows 8… That's too bad. That OS sucked balls, but I guess if it was made for a Zune… that explains it.

  16. Coca Cola was not the original cola there were quite a few out before coke they are just the biggest , adding cocaine to the mix didn't hurt either

  17. It was called New Coke and not Coke II and it was not a flop.

    I was there in 1987 when New Coke hit. I was in 18 and still in high school. So I am not going by Wikipedia.

    Here is the real story from someone who lived through those times. Many people were worried about losing original Coke. So much that before New Coke's release many were stocking up so on original Coke buying dozens of cases.

    New Coke sold billions world wide. But many missed the flavour or original Coke. Dispite what you are saying many liked and preferred the taste of New Coke including me. New Coke was sweeter.

    In a few months by popular demand original Coke was brought back. But New Coke was not pulled off the market. For a year or so New Coke was sold side by side with original coke. And many purchased New Coke.

    Actually bringing out New Coke and then 6 months later bringing back original Coke was called the greatest marketing ploy ever. This made Coke more popular than ever.

    Any other young persons have a question about events from 1978 – 1988 I can give the real story from someone who was there as opposed to a Wicki page. I was born in the 60's and know way more than this guy.

  18. Ahh I remember the zune. I got the zune HD and I will always believe it’s much better than any iPhone. I honestly thought it was going to be a hit.

  19. If we get media implanted directly in our brains that would give 'adult' xxx movies a new angle … Don't do drugs kids 😉

  20. To be fair to Segway, the inventor died because he was riding on a mountain trail and came around a blind turn where a jogger with headphones was approaching from the other direction. He swerved to miss the jogger and well, went off the cliff.

  21. I think in my school, a girl had one.
    So the explosion wasn’t because she put it under her leg.

  22. Tried Orbitz as a kid (at Kennedy Space Center), and it immediately reminded me of frog eggs. That syrupy liquid made it seem like I was slurping frog/tadpole eggs right from the pond. 🙁🤢🤮

  23. The serious mechanical problems on the Edsel kicked in on the 1959 model year, between the car strikes, and the 59 Edsel being added to the regular Ford line with no extra pay, or time for the extra car added to the hourly output, workers actively sabotaged the car out of spite for the extra grief it was causing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *