May 11, 2023

People Talk About The Things That Were Supposed To Be The Next Big Thing, But Instead Were Total Flops

No one has a crystal ball to see into the future. We like to think that our theories and algorithms and surveys can allow us to guess what’s coming, but we’re not always right.

That definitely applies in these scenarios, because although plenty of people supposed they had pegged the next big thing, they definitely turned out to be wrong.

Be careful what you ask for.

Man I remember as a kid seeing the Ninja Turtles and Dick Tracy use video coms and thinking it was so cool and wanting one for myself and now if someone facetimes me I have a panic attack

I kind of want one.

Amazon’s shopping buttons.

I bought one for toilet paper and put it in the cabinet where I keep spare rolls. You take the last roll out, you press the button. It actually kinda worked.

I think they are useful for very select Products. Tp. Paper towels. Pet food. Maybe laundry/cleaning supplies. But I don’t need a button for the book I just bought. (They asked if I wanted a button for that at one point)

The way of the dodo.

Not sure if this one has totally flopped yet, but I noticed while in Costco the other day that there are no longer any curved TVs.

If Costco is no longer carrying them then I think we can assume they’re going the way of the dodo.

It’s not quite that simple.

KONY 2012

What, sharing a video on Facebook doesn’t end the use of child soldiers?

Apparently neither does putting up stickers all over your neighborhood.

Google’s business model.

From what I’ve gathered in this thread Google threw a lot of s*%t to see if it would stick.

That’s basically their business model. I read somewhere, ages ago, that Google was willing to try just about anything their R&D people put out there, and if it didn’t look like it was going to be a billion dollar return, they’d can it and move on.

Also a lot of things they cancel have features that end up in their mainstream projects. Like the conversation view, mail categories, trip thing, snoozing from Inbox are all just part of Gmail now.

We like classic.

Crystal Pepsi, New Coke, orange juice and toothpaste flavored lays potato chips.

Satisfying click.

Mini disc.

They were great.

And the satisfying mechanical click you’d hear whenever you shut the lid. Man I miss my minidisc! I gave it away to one of my high school buddies.

Reverse course.

Not entirely relevant, but I liked the trend where everybody wanted the smallest cell phone possible. For 20 years cell phones got smaller and smaller. Often being the main selling point of the phone.

Then all of sudden you could watch videos on your phone, and almost overnight the trend reversed to “larger is better”.

A lesson in hype.

Google+ was supposed to be the answer to Facebook.

That was a lesson on how not to handle hype. There was so much hype around Google plus, it was infectious. But they refused to open it up to everyone and maintained a very hardline ‘invite only’ system.

Even once hype had peaked and there was a notable decline, still they maintained a small invite only system. I remember by the time they decided to open it up to everyone the hype was well and truly dead and no one bothered with it.

They should have cashed in when hype was high but they (I assume) got greedy, thinking the hype would just infinitely increase and people wouldn’t get bored waiting to get in.

Not a joke.

My friend who studies Medicine had to install Second Life about two years ago for a class meeting. I don’t get why they couldn’t have used Skype but ok…

As a CS student I wondered wtf second life was doing on all the lab PCs. I thought it was some kind of joke until people with PHDs started talking about how great of a collaboration tool it was.

It wasn’t.

Too embarrassed.


Heard a stat from one of the 3D TV manufacturers that the average number of pairs of 3D glasses sold per 3D television was a number very much smaller than 1.

I think they were too embarrassed to actually tell everyone how tiny the attach rate was.

Not fast food.

McDonald’s pizza.

The issue here was time. The pizzas were actually a huge hit. The issue was how long it took them to cook relative to everything else.

One person in a family orders a pizza and everyone else is done eating before the pizza is done.

Too consumer friendly.


I never watched more movies in a month then when I had Movie Pass. Such a horribly consumer friendly concept that was never going to work long term.

Unfortunately after I ended my subscription they signed me back up at least two more times without my consent, but I caught on and cancelled before they got any more of my money.

We’re still waiting.

Soap Shoes.

These were like normal shoes, but you could grind on rails with them via an indent in the sole. If you heard of these things from somewhere that wasn’t Sonic Adventure 2, please tell me where? And please tell me where I can buy a pair?

At least they’re remembered.

Quadraphonic entertainment systems in the early 1970s, were supposed to replace stereophonic systems. Now they are chiefly remembered for inspiring the name of The Who’s second rock opera.

You can’t be right all the time.

Maybe next time around though, yeah?

twistedsifter on facebook People Talk About The Things That Were Supposed To Be The Next Big Thing, But Instead Were Total Flops