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10 of the Worst Tech Flops of All Time

Dark data is the new frontier for big data analytics.

Naming the great technology success stories is easy. The iPhone. Facebook. Windows. Netflix. But what about the great technology failures? If you want a computer science job or any other career in the information technology field, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the mistakes of the past. That way, you can better avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Here are ten tech failures that really stand out:


While many considered this video cassette player and recorder superior to its VHS competitor, it came with a higher price tag. In the end, consumers chose the cheaper VHS and the movie industry followed suit, leaving Betamax in the technology dustbin.

10 of the Worst Tech Flops of All Time

Apple Newton

A PDA (personal digital assistant) that suffered from a poorly functioning operating system, the Apple Newton never caught on. However, the development of Apple Newton did indirectly lead to the iPad, proving that learning from failure can lead to great successes.

Sega Dreamcast

Sega was once a major player in the gaming console industry. That came to an end after the Sega Dreamcast flopped in spectacular fashion. Hurt by bad advertising, a lack of popular games, and a clunky controller, the Dreamcast lasted only 2 years in North America. Sega has never made another gaming console.


Some technology fails not because the idea is bad but because the existing tech infrastructure isn’t capable of supporting the idea fully. WebTV was just such a case. Released when dial-up internet access was still the norm, the internet-enabled TV was slow, harder to use than a computer, and came with a $20-a-month fee for internet access.


While you still see Segways being used here-and-there, the two-wheeled motorized people-mover was launched with the expectation that it would revolutionize locomotion and lead to the reinvention of city design. It didn’t come close to having that kind of impact and its sales numbers fell well short of projections.


Released by Microsoft to compete with Apple’s iPod, the Zune digital music player suffered from a few high-profile technology glitches and the misfortune of being second-to-market behind the popular and expertly marketed iPod. Zune only lasted 4 years.

America Online

AOL built itself into a tech giant by providing dial-up internet service. But poor management left the company grossly unprepared for the market’s transition away from dial-up. The company still exists but their failure to innovate has left them an also-ran.


Google is a hugely successful company, but its attempts to enter the social media market with Google+ failed on a massive scale. Fewer than 1% of Google users regularly engage in Google+, placing its user numbers far behind its competitor, Facebook. 1

Windows Phone

The idea made perfect sense: release a smartphone that runs Windows software and is thus fully compatible with the programs most people use every day. But the number one thing people want from their smartphones are popular apps. Windows Phone didn’t have enough of those apps and the phone never caught on.


This odd little device was designed to sit on your desk and release smells that corresponded to the webpage you were viewing or the e-mail you were reading. It was a bad idea from the start and, unsurprisingly, almost no one wanted one.

How Can You Learn More About Avoiding Tech Failures?

If you want to succeed in a technology career, you need to know a lot about technology. And one of the best ways to gain that knowledge is by earning an information technology degree or computer science degree. While there are a lot of IT degrees to choose from, one of the most comprehensive is an MS in Information Technology.

A master’s in information technology can provide you with advanced IT knowledge and give you a chance to specialize in your preferred field, allowing you to prepare for a career as a database administrator, computer programmer, software engineer, software developer, systems analyst, system administrator, or even chief information officer. Thanks to online education, you don’t even have to take time off from work to earn your master’s degree. When you earn an MS in Information Technology degree online, you can complete your coursework from home and on a flexible platform that’s designed for working professionals.

The tech world is full of successes as well as failures. When you earn an information technology master’s at an online university, you can put yourself in position to avoid the failures and be a part of the successes.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Information Technology degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,