Tech Turkeys 2011
4:10

Tech Turkeys 2011

Culture
Every year a few things that happen in the world of technology leave us scratching our heads...like why Apple redesigned Final Cut for 4 year olds...Why Quicken no longer works on the Mac...or why a Roku box has a jeans tab...But those are trivial compared this list: The Top 5 Tech Turkeys of 2011: Blunders that someone just had to get fired over. #5 - The Flip camera. Cisco paid $590 million dollars in 2009 to take over the iconic Flip and then in April 2011, killed it. Didn�t scale it back, license the tech, or even sell it at a loss. They shut it down. Yes, smartphones are bearing down hard on these devices but Flip was the dominant brand in a decent category that didn�t require ton of R&D. Who knows how much money was left on the table. #4 - WebOS and HP PC�s. We started checking the dumpsters outside HP for empty booze bottles when they announced in August they were suddenly killing off the WebOS mobile platform and devices AND sellng or spinning off their PC division. A bolt out of the blue, it made HP look like it never did get mobile and gave a good case of the willies to is PC clients and partners. That cost the CEO his gig and HP a lot of its cred as a Silicon Valley leader. #3 - Sony PSN breach. In a year of unprecedented hacks and attacks, the Sony PSN breach was perhaps the ugliest. In early April the PlayStation Network was brought to its knees and the customer records of some 100M users were pinched, largely unencrypted. All in, PSN and Qriocity were down for some 3 WEEKS! Blackberry gets hell when their network goes down for the days. Oh, and that happened this year, also.) Sony made amends by tossing users some free games and stuff, which is sort of like the house buying you breakfast when you just lost your car at the baccarat table. #2 - RIM. The BlackBerry maker didn�t have any one product or moment it�s fate turned on and maybe that�s the problem. Just a whole let of meh. 2011 in general was the year that �what�s up with BlackBerry� became the question on everyone�s lips. Apple retained the title for most popular smartphone...Android took over as most popular platform...Windows Phone as most promising ...and RIM got kudos for having great keyboard. Not much to work with there. #1 - Netflix/Qwikster. When you hear people say your company�s strategy will be studied in business school for years to come its either real good...or real bad. For Netflix, it was the latter. In July , the company raised the cost of a DVD + streaming from 10 bucks to 16 overnight. The backlash was big; subscriber cancellations sent the once-darling of home video in the wrong direction. Then they �fixed� it by announcing a Qwikster, a new company to handle DVD rental separately from streaming, because nothing takes a users mind off a 60% price hike like a 100% increase in hassles. Well, they reversed that Qwikster idea a few days later, but the price hike stayed and the worst part of this story is that Netflix is still a great service at a great price, but now with a banged-up brand. All they had to do was handle it right. I guess they didn�t want to give up this coveted #1 slot to RIM. For more top 5s like this one got to top5.cnet.com. I am Brian Cooley, thanks for watching.

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