Not all tech products succeed once on the market, and some are killed off with little warning. Flashback looks back at failed tech products to see what we can learn by studying their demises.



Latest Episodes

#20: Windows Vista

June 3rd, 2021 · 48 minutes

The story of Windows Vista is a complicated one. Born from a long and troubled development cycle, it wasn't free of problems at launch, but hardware OEMs and others didn't do much to help its reputation.

#19: The Apple Lisa

May 21st, 2021 · 38 minutes

In the early 1980s, Apple launched a computer with a GUI and mouse ... that wasn't the Macintosh.

#18: The Google Graveyard Draft

May 6th, 2021 · 69 minutes

Google has a knack for shutting down products. This episode, Stephen and Quinn talk about a handful of them.

#17: The Palm Foleo

April 22nd, 2021 · 46 minutes

A phone. An email terminal. A web-browsing portable companion. A phone. An email terminal. A web-browsing portable companion. A phone. An email terminal. A web-browsing portable companion. A phone. An email terminal. A web-browsing portable companion.

Are you getting it? These are not three devices.

It's two devices, and we're calling them …

#16: ROKR: The iTunes Phone

April 8th, 2021 · 52 minutes

A year and a half before the iPhone was introduced, Apple took the stage to announce a very, very different product: the iTunes phone, built in partnership with Motorola and Cingular.

#15: The Motorola RAZR

March 25th, 2021 · 47 minutes

This week, Quinn and Stephen talk about one of the world's first cool phones, and how its parent company was bent on destroying its good name.

#14: OS/2

February 19th, 2021 · 41 minutes

In an effort to keep Microsoft from controlling the PC software industry, in the 1980s, IBM created OS/2, an operating system meant to give its computers a competitive advantage. Unable to do this alone, Big Blue turned to an unlikely company to help build it.

#13: The CrunchPad

February 2nd, 2021 · 45 minutes

In 2008, a vision for a simple, browser-based tablet as born. Just a few years later, after failed lawsuits and rip-off products, no one had anything to show for their work.

#12: The Amazon Fire Phone

January 19th, 2021 · 60 minutes

This time, Quinn and Stephen look back — in 3D! — at the Amazon Fire Phone. Between its operating system, unusual gesture system and a price that was way too high, it was dead on arrival. After that, the guys go shopping for each other, picking out some unusual products that bear Amazon's name today.

#11: The Nexus Q

January 5th, 2021 · 53 minutes

In 2012, Google announced a sphere-shaped media player that was meant to be used with a TV or sound system. It was a disaster. However, nearly a decade later, set-top boxes are nearly everywhere. How did the market move past a weird Google product to offer a wide range of compelling products?