Complete Failure Inventions: 10 Hilarious Inventions That Were a Complete Failure
Innovation and creativity are the driving force behind new inventions, but sometimes they don’t always go as planned. There have been numerous innovations throughout history that were presumed to transform the world, but instead, they flopped.
Here are ten hilarious inventions that were a complete failure.
The Segway was hailed as the next big thing in personal transportation when it was first released in 2001. It was supposed to revolutionize how people moved around cities, offering a more environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to cars and other vehicles. However, the Segway failed to catch on with the populace due to numerous reasons.
One of the main reasons the Segway was a commercial failure was its high price. At $5,000, it was far too expensive for most consumers, especially compared to other modes of transportation like bicycles or even cars. Further, the limited range of the Segway made it impractical for longer commutes, and it was also difficult to operate and dangerous, which further hurt its popularity.
Despite these setbacks, the Segway did find some success in certain niche markets. Police departments and security firms used them for patrolling large areas, and some tourists used them to explore cities. However, these small successes were not enough to save the Segway from being considered a complete failure.
2. The Pet Rock
Pet Rock was a fad in the 1970s that involved selling rocks as pets. The inventor, Gary Dahl, marketed the rocks as low-maintenance pets that didn’t need to be fed walked, or groomed. Despite being a huge hit at first, the Pet Rock craze fizzled out quickly, and many people were left with nothing more than a rock to show for their money.
One of the main reasons Pet Rock was a failure was that it was a one-time purchase with no repeat business. Once someone had bought a Pet Rock, they had no reason to buy another one. Also, the novelty of owning a pet rock quickly wore off, leaving many consumers feeling like they had been taken advantage of.
Another reason Pet Rock failed was that it was an easy product to replicate. Anyone could sell a rock as a pet, so the market quickly became oversaturated with knockoffs and imitators. This made it difficult for the original Pet Rock to stand out and maintain its popularity.
3. Google Glass
Google Glass was supposed to be the future of wearable technology when it was first released in 2013. It was a pair of glasses with a built-in computer and a screen that displayed information directly in the wearer’s line of sight. However, the high price, limited functionality, and privacy concerns made it a commercial failure. Google discontinued the product in 2015.
One of the main reasons Google Glass failed was its high price. At $1,500, it was too expensive for most consumers, especially compared to other wearable technology like smartwatches. More, the limited functionality of the device made it difficult to justify the cost.
Another reason Google Glass failed was privacy concerns. The device was rigged with a camera that could record video and take pictures without anyone knowing. This led to concerns about privacy violations, and many businesses and public places banned the use of Google Glass.
4. The Ford Edsel
The Ford Edsel was a car released in 1957 with much fanfare. It was supposed to be a revolutionary new car that would transform the automotive industry. However, the car was a commercial failure due to its high price, poor performance, and strange design. The name of the car was called after Henry Ford’s son, Edsel Ford, who passed in 1943. It was marketed as a mid-size car that would bridge the gap between Ford and Mercury, but it ended up being a flop.
The car was designed with a distinctive “horse collar” grille that became the target of many jokes and criticism. It also had a push-button transmission that was prone to failure and a variety of other design flaws that made it unpopular with consumers. Despite a huge advertising campaign, sales were disappointing, and the Edsel became a symbol of marketing and design failure.
In the end, Ford lost over $250 million on the Edsel project, a huge sum of money in the 1950s. The company learned many lessons from the failure of Edsel, including the importance of market research, the need to focus on consumer needs, and the danger of over-hyping a product before it’s ready for market.
Today, the Ford Edsel has become a collector’s item, with some enthusiasts appreciating its unique design and place in automotive history. However, it remains a cautionary tale for anyone attempting to launch a new product or marketing campaign.
5. New Coke
In the mid-1980s, Coca-Cola was failing to market share to Pepsi, and the corporation chose to rebrand its classic formula. The new formula was sweeter and smoother than the original, and the company spent millions of dollars on advertising to promote it.
However, the public’s response was overwhelmingly negative. Consumers were outraged that their beloved Coke had been changed, and the company received thousands of angry letters and phone calls.
Within a few months, Coca-Cola realized its blunder and reintroduced the actual formula as “Coca-Cola Classic.” The company’s sales skyrocketed, and New Coke quickly became a commercial failure. Today, New Coke is remembered as one of the greatest marketing gaffes in history.
6. The Betamax
The Betamax was a video cassette format that Sony introduced in 1975. It was the first commercially successful video cassette format, and it was praised for its high-quality picture and sound. However, the Betamax had a shorter recording time than its rival VHS, which was introduced by JVC the same year.
Despite the Betamax’s superior quality, VHS quickly became the dominant format for home video recording. VHS tapes had longer recording times and were cheaper to produce, which made them more appealing to consumers.
By the mid-1980s, Betamax had lost the format war, and Sony was forced to discontinue the product. However, Betamax tapes continued to be produced in Japan until 2015, when Sony announced it was ending production.
7. The Sinclair C5
The Sinclair C5 was a three-wheeled electric vehicle that was released in 1985. The vehicle was designed by British inventor Sir Clive Sinclair, who hoped that it would revolutionize transportation. The C5 was powered by an electric motor with a range of about 20 miles. It was also lightweight and inexpensive, costing just £399 at launch.
However, the C5 was widely criticized for its safety and practicality. The vehicle was slow and had a top speed of just 15 miles per hour, making it dangerous to use in traffic. It also had a limited range, and its small size made it difficult to see on the road. The product was a commercial failure, and only about 12,000 were ever sold.
Despite its failure, the Sinclair C5 remains a curiosity of 1980s technology and transportation.
8. The Apple Newton
In 1993, Apple released the Newton, a personal digital assistant (PDA) that promised to revolutionize the world of personal computing. However, the device was met with criticism due to its slow processor, poor handwriting recognition, and high price tag. Despite a few updates, the Newton was discontinued in 1998, marking one of Apple’s biggest product failures.
The Apple Newton was designed to be a portable device that could help users manage their personal information, including notes, appointments, and contacts. It was equipped with a stylus for writing on the touch screen, and its handwriting recognition technology was intended to convert handwritten notes into typed text. The Newton also included a basic web browser and email functionality, making it an early precursor to the modern smartphone.
Apple Newton faced several issues that ultimately led to its failure. One of the main problems was its slow processor, which made it frustratingly sluggish to use. The handwriting recognition feature, a major selling point, was also unreliable and often produced incorrect results.
Another factor contributing to Newton’s downfall was its high price. At launch, the device was priced at $699, significantly more expensive than other PDAs. The price dropped over time, but by then, the damage had been done.
The failure of Newton was a major setback for Apple, which had invested heavily in the device’s development and marketing. The company ultimately lost around $100 million on the project, and its reputation was damaged by the negative press surrounding the product.
The DeLorean DMC-12
The DeLorean DMC-12 is perhaps one of the most famous automotive failures of all time, immortalized in the Back to the Future movie franchise. John DeLorean, a former General Motors executive, founded the DeLorean Motor Company in the early 1970s with the goal of creating a sleek, high-performance sports car.
The result was the DeLorean DMC-12, a stainless steel sports car with gull-wing gates and a unique look.
Despite the initial hype, the DeLorean DMC-12 was plagued with problems from the start. The car was underpowered and overpriced, and the stainless steel exterior was prone to damage and difficult to repair. The company also struggled with financial problems, with DeLorean himself ultimately facing charges of drug trafficking in an effort to save the company.
Although fewer than 10,000 DeLorean DMC-12s were ever produced, the car remains an enduring icon of 1980s pop culture, thanks in no small part to its prominent role in the Back to the Future movies.
The Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water
In the 1990s, the Coors Brewing Company attempted to expand beyond its traditional market of beer by introducing a line of bottled water called Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water. The water was sourced from a spring near the company’s brewery in Golden, Colorado, and marketed as a premium, high-quality alternative to other bottled waters.
Despite the company’s best efforts, however, Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water failed to gain traction with consumers. Many people simply weren’t interested in buying water from a beer company, and the brand could not compete with more established players in the bottled water market.
After just a few years on the market, Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water was discontinued, with the company refocusing its efforts on its core beer business. Today, the water lives on only in nostalgic memories of those trying it briefly.
The history of innovation is filled with both successes and failures, and these 10 hilarious inventions that were complete failures are just a few examples of the latter. While these ideas may have seemed brilliant on paper, they ultimately failed to resonate with consumers for various reasons.
Still, it’s worth remembering that even the most spectacular failures can offer valuable lessons for future innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as a good laugh for the rest of us.