Successful or unsuccessful inventions, they are continuous; every day, companies come up with their creative ideas and devices so that the world comes an inch closer to becoming digitized.
Inventions and launches take place every passing minute. So many times we ourselves are unaware of any new mobile phone, apps, a news car’s model, among others, even when they come from an established brand.
A long time ago, MapQuest was among the best options that we had for getting our driving directions before we get set for our road trip. This app still exists, but it has become the number-two mapping service in America as of 2015. We all know who has outdated MapQuest. It’s been majorly cast down by Google Maps, Apple Maps and other smartphone-based GPS services. And these brand new services render the pre-printed driving directions as MapQuest obsolete. Still, this app was many users’ first option for getting driving directions from the Internet, and it led to the much-improved services we are able to enjoy today.
The world’s first ever digital newspaper was The Daily. And it was launched with hype and hoopla during the honeymoon period right after apple revealed its original iPad. Technically, the Daily, which is a News Corp.-backed digital-first newspaper, sported flamboyant graphics, embedded video, and presented all the more new ways for readers to interact with the given stories. However, the e-paper only functioned on a paid subscription. This subscription was arranged through the iTunes Store. Consequently, the revenue was divided with Apple, which at that time, proved to be unsustainable. The Daily, sadly, shut down in less than two years. But, many media outlets continued to and are still looking forward to mobile devices as the future. Still, profitability remains a huge issue.
Very few gadgets have seen the popularity and buzz that Google Glass has experienced. The search giant released these spectacles in the year 2012. Its ostentatious introductory demonstration went all out, sporting skydivers who were streaming their jump through the device. Then, it continued to a spread in Vogue. We can say this for sure that Glass possibly received one of the most-hyped gadget launches of all time. But all for naught: Google finally laid aside the product in 2015. However, it is still being used in some professional purposes.
What happened then? What went horribly wrong is the headset’s incredibly high price tag ($1,500). Also, the concerns regarding the privacy kept Glass from going completely mainstream. Glass made it easy to record video unconnectedly. And due to this, some of the bars, restaurants, and movie theaters were prompted to ban the gadget. Not to mention, possessing this gadget gave rise to the term “glasshole.” Even though Glass miserably failed, it successfully offered some valuable lessons about the wearable technology. It is: Nobody likes to be recorded without their knowledge.
Altavista thrived at that time when the idea of regaining answers to questions by simply typing in a question into a computer seemed like a magical experience! This program was founded in the year 1995. It set the founding stage for a giant like Google, and today, Google has become such an intrinsic part of how we find out information. The word “googling” has definitely become a part of our language.
So what actually is it that went wrong with Altavista? Believe it or not, no one seemed to know what to do with it. People did not know how to operate that technology. This means that ended up being neglected and was poorly managed by the majority of the crowd. What happened is that over the years, AltaVista kept on bouncing from its original parent company, Digital Equipment, which was bought by Compaq in 1998, to CMGI the upcoming year. And then Overture purchased it in the year 2003, which is a company that Yahoo bought in a year later. Finally, Yahoo officially put down AltaVista after 10 years in the year 2013. And as we all can witness, Google continues to dominate the Internet search landscape.
Windows 8 “Start” Button
We all have loved and revered Windows 8 for chucking off Windows’ iconic “Start” button. And in the year 2012, Windows 8 was the biggest redesign of Microsoft’s mega computing linchpin. The first ever “Start” a “Start” button in Windows 95’s lower left-hand corner of the screen was glued by Redmond. Consumers didn’t quite know what to make out of Microsoft’s colorful, tile-like “Metro” interface. And this worked quite fine on the company’s fledgling Surface tablets. However, it seemed puzzling on laptops and desktops. Note that laptops have gone to account for virtually Windows 8’s entire market share. So, the final verdict here is that this merging was arguably brilliant but too far ahead of its time.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one: Betamax was way better than VHS, and the product only failed because Sony disgracefully fumbled its marketing tactics. This information is almost half right. In reality, Betamax’s technical bona fides were petty and insignificant even to all the videophiles! Now this, along with its extra higher cost price, made VHS a bummer for the consumers. Even though the products technical impact was nominal, Betamax’s iconic part in the final part of the 20th century’s videotape format battles made way for the imaginary groundwork for all the binary platform wars ever since.
We all remember that crazy period before the iPhone. It was the well-known BlackBerry period— or “CrackBerry,” as the cell phones’ obsessed users affectionately referred to them. Blackberry’s iconic devices were many users’ first smartphones ever. Blackberry was able to connect to the Internet, efficiently send and receive email, and clearly chat with one another over the company’s BlackBerry Messenger, aka BBM, service. And these cell phones were everywhere: Research in Motion was what BlackBerry was then called. The company sold more than 50 million devices in the year 2011.
This proved out to be the company’s high time mark. RIM did not succeed in keeping up with the times, as it stubbornly chose to stick with its trademark physical keyboard pattern rather than adopting an iPhone-like full touchscreen. Touchscreen then went on to become the trendy fashion. By the year 2016, BlackBerry was merely selling some 4 million devices annually. BlackBerry does exist today but only as a light shadow of its former self. Still, the company’s devices made way for the super-powered smartphones that we happily carry around today.
If Napster did not exist, then something else would surely have gained popularity in the online file sharing; but credit goes where credit’s due. Napster’s spectacular turn of the era rise as the world’s actual peer-to-peer Internet client accelerated the swing away from compact discs to ethereal digital tunes (the idea of having your entire music collection right on your hard drive seemed entirely unimaginable before Napster made it possible. What is not so well-known is the way the service also cemented way for the wide-spread implementation of some significant mechanical blueprints for the Middle Ages of the Internet.
And the story of its contentious young founder, Shawn Fanning, indisputably influenced the careers of a multitude of startup founders who followed. Napster’s supreme strength—the unregulated exchange of anything, together with copyright-infringing songs and albums—ultimately proved its Achilles heel, forcing it to transfer to a subscription-based representation that ultimately went down to insolvency.