Famous Product Failures

In April 1985, Coca-Cola released New Coke. It did really well in blind taste tests but it failed spectacularly in the real world. New Coke only stayed on the market for three months. Overall, we certainly don’t think of the Coca-Cola company as a failure. Today, Coca-Cola owns Minute Maid, Powerade, Capri Sun, and around 100 other brands. Despite that highly publicized failure, the company picked itself up, moved on, and created countless other profitable and successful products.

Although Nintendo has been an extremely successful company and one that has managed to remain relevant in the highly competitive and ever-evolving world of gaming, Nintendo has drunken the bitter draft of abject failure. In 1995, the company released a product called Virtual Boy. The system attempted to make use of 3-D graphics, but they were rudimentary, the system’s headgear was bulky, and the product price was high. Virtual Boy only stayed on the market for a mere six months.

One of the most famous product failures of all time was the Edsel. The failure became so famous it made it into the Billy Joel songs where he sums up the biggest news stories of each decade, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Nonetheless, the failure certainly didn’t sink Ford. The car debuted in 1958. It was the result of detailed market analysis and research and was trumped as a more modern vehicle. The research led Ford to believe the car would be a stunning success but, despite what data had predicted, the Edsel was a spectacular failure. It was quickly discontinued within a couple years and it cost the company millions. Clearly, though, Ford did not stop innovating – or else Fords today would like exactly like they did in the 1950’s.