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10 Recent Tech Fails and Disasters

by Carl Jonson
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Around a century ago, the world’s technology was far different from now. Even the most intelligent scientist would have thought the notion of the internet sounded like crazy witchcraft at the time. Automobiles for the ordinary citizen were just becoming widespread, the television had yet to be created, and the internet had yet to be invented. But, despite all the breakthroughs we’ve seen in technology and all the ways it’s improved our lives, it’s far from perfect. Every day, technology fails, and there have been some spectacular failures in recent memory.

Here are ten recent techs fails and disasters that I’m sure the creators should have rethought.

Related: Ordinary Items That Made People Rich

10 Juicero

Juicero: the $400 juicer that couldn’t make juice

What is it that fashionable, hip, aggressive go-getters like above all else? You would have your finger on the pulse if you guessed juice and/or useless devices. The worldwide juice business is approaching $200 billion annually. So, yeah, we like our juice. The annual revenue from kitchen gadgets is over $17.6 billion. Putting them together is a match made in heaven! Or, at the very least, it should have been.

Juicero seemed to be a fantastic idea in 2017. To prepare excellent juice, you need a sophisticated kitchen device, right? How it worked: Individual fruit packets were pressed in an internet-connected machine sponsored by some big-name investors’ $120 million investment.

The machine worked like a vise, squeezing pre-made vegetable and fruit packages with four tons of force to produce delicious and healthy fresh juice. Then someone discovered you could simply tweak the packets by hand, eliminating the need for the $699 juice press. When reporters put it to the test, they found that they could obtain just as much juice and do it quicker if they did it barehanded.

Even after lowering the price to $400, the Juicero had already had a disastrous debut. They went bankrupt after just a few months in business.[1]

9 Zillow’s AI

Zillow’s House Flipping Disaster Explained

Zillow is a real estate firm that has received much attention in recent years due to its market domination. Unfortunately, they spent so much of 2021 grabbing up homes that they had to put a stop to it for a few months. They’d experienced a major technical failure due to a combination of overconfidence and—probably—stupidity.

Most consumers had no idea Zillow really purchased and sold properties, mistaking it for a place where real estate brokers could simply display their listings. The fact was that the corporation was in the business of flipping houses and had built A.I. technologies to help them do so. They were so confident in the A.I. that they allowed it to make cash bids on homes. That proved to be a horrible decision.

By November, the firm—as Zillow Offers—had a backlog of 7,000 properties worth $2.8 billion that needed to be sold. As a consequence of its sloppy spending, they were forced to shut down its A.I. algorithm and cease property purchases, illustrating once and for all that you can’t let a website invest in real estate across a whole nation.[2]

8 Tesla Bot

Elon Musk REVEALS Tesla Bot (full presentation)

Tesla is one of the most well-known firms today. With Elon Musk’s shenanigans in the headlines all the time, the firm can’t help but be mentioned regularly as well, and not only about his antics. Don’t forget that Tesla is still the market leader in electric vehicles. They regularly release new and innovative products to keep their name on everyone’s lips.

In August 2021, Tesla held a press conference to announce that they were developing a humanoid robot. According to Musk, the objective was to construct a machine capable of doing people’s dull, risky, or repetitive activities. So far, everything has gone well. The rollout was the issue.

For whatever reason, Musk opted to show off the concept of the robot before anybody had built one. So instead, they sent out a guy dressed as a robot in a spandex jumpsuit. Then he danced, and it was a disaster.

It didn’t matter whether it was intended as a joke or not. The next day, the corporation was slammed in the press. Many observers chalked it up to a publicity gimmick to divert attention away from poor headlines, but whatever the underlying purpose, it made one of the world’s largest corporations and one of the world’s wealthiest individuals appear silly.[3]

7 The Freedom Phone

The “Freedom Phone” Scam is INSANE

A segment of the American population sees everything unpleasant or scary as a direct assault on their freedom. And their retaliation is to start labeling anything that supports their point of view “freedom” in a random and illogical manner. Remember when someone attempted to call French fries “freedom fries” because of France’s opposition to the Iraq War? Anyway…

In more recent history, the Freedom Phone was created for MAGA supporters who wanted to break free from “Big Tech’s” control by using a smartphone that didn’t censor them or promote a leftist ideology. It would feature an uncensored app store and an anti-surveillance operating system. And, sure, that’s fine if that’s your politics. It’s profitable to appeal to individuals depending on their political convictions. The issue was that the phone’s politics were not in line with its own.

To begin with, the Freedom Phone was nothing more than a rebranded, low-cost Chinese phone. The $499 Freedom Phone turned out to be a $119 Umidigi A9. Umidigi is a name you’ve probably never heard of. And neither had anybody else. So it wasn’t produced in America.

The concept that it was free of monitoring and restriction since it came from China, where neither of those qualities is highly prized, turned out to be a bit of a joke. There were no specifications on the website for purchasers. The OS was swapped with one produced by the Big Tech giants. Their unregulated app store poses serious privacy problems, and practically every tech website has recommended consumers avoid this item like the plague. Also, the phone would still use American cell networks for service.[4]

6 Quibi

Quibi – The Netflix That Never Was.

What do you have to say about Quibi? This is possibly the most powerful bomb of 2021, a reality only softened by the fact that everyone but those directly engaged appeared to see it coming from a mile away.

Quibi seemed to be a fusion of conventional TV and movies with something more fast-paced and consumable, such as YouTube and TikTok. The shows were all going to be brief, like five minutes or less, so you could watch them during your morning commute, and they were going to star Kevin Hart, Anna Kendrick, Sam Raimi, Idris Elba, and a slew of other famous names in Hollywood. How did so many well-known people show up? It’s possible that the approximately $2 billion in investment funds had something to do with it.

Quibi survived approximately seven months. There was no-one on board. Only a mobile phone could be used to view Quibi. It was impossible to screencap Quibi shows. It was way too pricey for what it was, and, more significantly, almost everything they produced was mediocre at best. Nearly every program on the platform was unanimously criticized by critics and spectators alike.[5]

5 Cyberpunk 2077

overpromise, sell, underdeliver Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the most anticipated games in recent years when it was launched at the end of 2020. For God’s sake, it even included Keanu Reeves. It was also one of the fastest-selling games of all time, with almost five million pre-orders and 13.7 million copies sold overall. Isn’t that a big victory? Well, not quite.

Because the game was so unstable that it was practically unplayable, it issued refunds to over 30,000 customers. The game was eventually deleted from the PlayStation Store.

On both the PS4 and Xbox One, the game was incredibly buggy. Lawsuits were brought when hackers acquired information from the developer for making the games run poorly on previous-generation platforms.

Even when folks were able to enjoy the game and have it operate flawlessly, the game ended up being barely acceptable in the end. It’s all right. It never lived up to the anticipation, and since its debut, many people have largely forgotten about it.[6]

4 Coolest Cooler

The Coolest Cooler story: Kickstarters BIGGEST failure – SGR

It takes a lot of effort to turn a cooler into a tech flop. A cooler can’t be that hard to sell, even one as simple as a styrofoam box, so a corporation has to go above and beyond to make it a failure, let alone one that was teeming with technology. But that’s precisely what the Coolest Cooler accomplished when it first appeared a few years ago.

The Coolest Cooler was one of the most successful Kickstarter projects ever in 2014, raising a staggering $13 million, which no one could have predicted. Who’d have guessed that coolers were so popular?

The Coolest Cooler was designed to be able to charge electronics such as your phone and have its own blender and Bluetooth speaker, among other features. By 2019, the corporation had filed for bankruptcy, and the cooler had finally gone up in flames.

The CEO blamed Chinese tariffs for the device’s demise. However, product evaluations from 2016 had previously shown that the cooler was mainly useless. With a price tag of $399, you’d think a high-tech cooler would at least operate properly, but this one didn’t. The blender was subpar at best, with a battery life of just around four minutes of blending time.

The cooler was never issued because the firm ran out of money during the Kickstarter campaign. Therefore backers who still wanted one had to pay an extra $96. Additionally, folks who did not fund the Kickstarter and instead purchased one on Amazon received theirs sooner.[7]

3 Galaxy Fold

Samsung Galaxy Fold review: after the break

The notion of folding technology has intrigued us for a few years in science fiction. Phones and tablets that can be rolled up and bent seem practical since many of us have dropped or crushed phones and shattered the displays, making this a desired feature. As a result, Samsung moved ahead and created a screen that could not be rolled but folded. Or at least that was the plan.

In 2019, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Fold, which resembled a wallet. You could fold it in half and unfold it, and your screen would be right there, giving you double the screen capacity of the size in your pocket. This fantastic technology costs just under $2,000 to purchase. Things did not go as planned.

When Samsung finally allowed reviewers to use the phones, they failed miserably. Most reviews merely needed a day or two to point out that their folding displays didn’t function. Some units produced bulges, while others only operated on one side of the Fold. Other reviews said they removed a protective layer since they didn’t know not to, thereby destroying the phone.

Samsung claimed to have sold one million copies in around four months after the phone’s debut but swiftly backtracked, claiming the one million was what they wanted to sell. Later, Samsung’s CEO humiliatingly recognized that the Fold was released too soon.[8]

2 Breached Sex Toys

Smart Dildos At Risk Of Being Hacked

Everyone understands that hackers are lurking around every corner and must secure anything that connects to the internet. We all have a slew of passwords to safeguard everything we possess. For a good reason: hackers can get into almost everything. And sex toys are included in this category as well.

In a strong and expanding industry, some adult toys can be linked to the internet to enable remote control by other users for reasons you may imagine. The issue is that few of these gadgets have any security built-in.

Any personal data acquired by hackers from a linked device is the most obvious security danger. This may not seem to be much at first, and it might just be humiliating facts about your sex toy usage. That’s not all, however.

According to one Twitter user, someone acquired access to their Metamask. This browser plugin allows people to access Ethereum and other crypto businesses. After their machine was hacked, the user lost several NFTs and dollars, and the only unique item on their network that they could think of was a sex toy that they’d plugged in “to charge.”[9]

1 WeWork

WeWork’s spectacular rise and fall provide cautionary tale for startups

WeWork was a digital firm that helped new businesses and startups find shared office space. So it was really simply commercial real estate, albeit they experimented with virtual spaces alongside actual ones and worked very hard to deceive people into believing they were doing things when they weren’t. The firm would rent huge office buildings for a long time, then break them up into smaller rooms for more short-term tenants to utilize as their day-to-day office space. This concept managed to get a $47 billion value at the outset.

SoftBank invested $8 billion in the firm, and WeWork began purchasing office space in key cities throughout the nation. They estimated their company’s market to be worth more than $3 trillion, and no one thought they were crazy. They arrived at this figure by concluding that everybody who worked at a desk in a city with an office was eligible to join.

The CEO and his wife were well-known for their lack of business acumen, which was ludicrous. He used to work barefoot in the workplace and do tequila shots, while she once dismissed someone because their “energy” was wrong.

Its sole true strength seemed to be its ability to mismanage funds. It lost $1.9 billion in 2018 on $1.8 billion in sales, and its stock continued to plummet. The CEO had to leave just to restore trust in the company, but even that didn’t work. Their initial public offering (IPO) in 2019 was a flop and had to be canceled. They lost more than $2 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen