The graveyard of technology is riddled with failed products: remember the Apple Newton? Or Microsoft’s Zune? How about Amazon’s Fire Phone?
And yet in Silicon Valley “failing fast” is heralded as a virtue and, sometimes, even failing slowly can have unforeseeable benefits. Cutting-edge products may die an embarrassing death, but they often also lay the groundwork for better, more well-timed ideas that flourish later on. This is a list of failures, yes, but failures that led to success or may yet still lead to something world-changing. That’s why we’ve called these technology’s most successful failed products. Like an experiment gone awry, they can still teach us something about technology and how people want to use it.
This list, ranked in order of influence, was extensively debated by TIME’s technology team. What did we fail to include?
One of the first Digital Video Recorders, or DVRs, to come to market —