The year is almost over, which is typically the time one reflects on the past 365 days. So looking back today we take a closer glance at some of 2012′s biggest mistakes, flops and screw-ups. We’ll go through all the usual software, technology and even PR stunts that caused more harm than good to a company attempting something new… Or worse, doing something horribly wrong that they used to do well all the time!
Apple Maps - So Apple has this habit of banning any apps that may compete with their own. Although they didn’t outright ban Google Maps, they had plans to out do it, which came with a big 3D update of Apple Maps. They touted it would show 3D terrain and be one of the best GPS direction apps out there… except it wasn’t. It seems, the program was rushed out the door to coincide with the release of iOS 6, which was waaayyyy too soon. The maps were disjointed, with incomplete satellite images, cut up roads and just looked like someone took a hammer at planet Earth. The screw up was so bad they fired two prominent executives and they added a maps section to their Apple Store so you wouldn’t have to use their horror show of an application. I don’t know if anyone went out to sell their iphone over this fiasco, but it still tarnished Apples reputation a bit.
Nexus Q - You may have not heard much about the Nexus Q, and you shouldn’t be surprised. This little sphere device, which looks like it’s right out of the matrix, was suppose to be the ultimate streaming media device. It was suppose to link with any and all Google Android devices seamlessly, allowing easy browsing on youtube and your own music collection. Except it had one major flaw, it did none of those things. It was meant to do all those thing, but it never really worked right. It was such a major flop to people who got review devices that they canned the whole thing. It never reached shelves, and anyone who did manage to get one shipped to them got it for free.
Google Plus - Technically this little guy was “released” last year, but in a very limited kind of way. Google Plus had huge hype behind it, thanks mostly to it’s “invite only” system. If you were on Google Plus, it was not unheard of to have all your friends begging for an invite. What Google should have done was ride this wave of hype and open up the Social media site to everyone that very week. But instead, they kept it invite only for weeks, which caused one major flaw to any social media website… No one was there. Facebook is huge because everyone has Facebook, while the invite only system made Google Plus appear as a ghost town. If they opened it up during the hype, the flood of people would have been enough to keep the social media site afloat until more people joined… Instead it continues to be rather empty, and slowly becoming more of a business social media site than a personal one.
Nokia’s Phony Photo - A technology Nokia was pushing with their new Lumia line was the Pureview camera. A camera with, allegedly, impressive megapixels and resolution, making it compete with some high end DSLR’s out there. At least, that is how they seemed to advertise it. They released beautiful photos that anyone would salivate over if they had that ability on their phone. But, alas, it was not to be. People noticed a disclaimer that essentially said the images weren’t taken with the phone they were advertising, and were taken with prototype technology. People felt like Nokia lied about the photos. Their ad was showing a product that wasn’t even the real thing, which sent some folks into a tizzy about Nokia’s upcoming Lumia 920.
Shell Shocked - Although Shell isn’t in the tech business, it was their lack of knowledge of the internet, or perhaps naive attitude to the internet community, that led to them being a bit of a joke online. Shell allowed folks to make ads that were inspirational to the company. it was a simple image program that you put in a short text blurb and a photo. Then the image had a logo and some nice design making it look like a legit Shell ad that’s good enough for a billboard. Shell even had a contest attached to this, which just made it worse. Suddenly the internet was flooded with images making fun of Shell and the Oil industry as a whole, all with Shell’s official company logo and name stamped all over them. Things like “You can’t run your SUV on cute” with an image of an adorable arctic fox.