Oxford and Miriam-Webster Dictionaries both define failure quite simply as “lack of success.” By this definition, only the craziest of people would label Apple, Inc., the world’s most valuable technology company, as a failure. But that doesn’t mean everything Apple has created has been a success. Check out this list of rotten fruits that fell way far from the tree.
1) Macintosh TV
The Macintosh TV didn’t even last 6 months before Apple discontinued it. Only 10,000 units were made. It’s funny now to think that a computer-television combination was a failure. Perhaps this Apple TV ancestor was just ahead of its time.
2) Apple Mighty Mouse
The Mighty Mouse survived just over 4 years before it was replaced with the Magic Mouse. This failure may have been due to the fact that you couldn’t right click without pulling your left finger completely off of the thing. How annoying is that?
3) Macintosh Performa (x200 series)
A combination of serious hardware shortcomings and craptastic marketing spelled doom for this machine (and for Apple’s then-CEO, Michael Spindler). Some blamed the fact that the Performa was sold in mass-market retail stores by people who didn’t know a Macintosh from a monster truck. The same year it was chalked up as a failure, Steve Jobs stepped back in as CEO and put the wheels in motion for the Apple stores. Coincidence? I think not.
4) Apple USB “Hockey Puck” Mouse
Widely considered one of Apple’s biggest boo-boos, the awkward mouse with the too-short tail had a tendency to rotate. In other words, it was a pain in the backside. But at least it came in seven different colors, right?
5) Apple G4 Cube
It was really expensive. You’d think for the price, it would have come with a monitor. It didn’t. A G4 Cube sits in the New York Museum of Modern Art, maybe because without a monitor, it was pretty much a big, pretty paperweight–as long as it didn’t get those pesky cracks in its clear plastic case. Then it was ugly.
6) iPod Shuffle 3rd generation
You had to have an official set of headphones to control the volume and change tracks. That meant if you had your own off-brand headphones, the Shuffle did whatever it wanted, whether you liked it or not. Well… the public didn’t like it.
7) Apple Bandai Pippin
The Bandai and its identity crisis (was it a computer or a gaming system?) didn’t even get a chance to make it under kids’ Christmas trees. It was released in March of 1995 and was killed in September of the same year. In May of 2006, the Pippin grabbed the #22 spot in PC World’s “25 Worst Tech Products of All Time” list. Ouch.
8) 20th Anniversary Mac
For $7,499 at its original release in 1997, this thing should have been made of solid gold. Instead, it was more or less the marked-up version of the Power Macintosh 6500, which only cost customers half as much. It was discontinued just 6 days before its first birthday.
9) Apple III
Not too bad for a 1980 model, really. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak blamed the Apple III’s poor reception on the fact that the system was created by the marketing team instead of the engineering team. Ironic, considering a marketing team’s job is to make people want to buy stuff. Epic fail.
But past failures can’t keep Apple from growing and pushing for new successes, and this never-surrender attitude has landed them on top. There’s also serious talk about an Apple Car in the not-too-distant future. Whether their new ventures will be successes or failures remains to be seen, but something tells me that even if the tech juggernaut fails, it will also keep right on succeeding.
Want to find out if your business idea is a good one? Check out the Evaluation of Business Ideas checklist on the getLaunched platform or in chapter 2 of the book Time to getLaunched: 7 Keys to Succeed with Your Startup.