Predicting the sales market is tricky. It's kind of like training a cat: You never know which way it's going to go and you usually end up with scratches on your face. In rare occasions it's not because you had a bad product, rather you were too far ahead of the curve with what you tried to sell people.
Reddit user, u/Send_Dem_Kitties, wanted you to dig through commercial purgatory and share:
After watching Valley of the Boom, some guys invented Facebook 10 years too early when not enough people were online yet.
It was called the globe.com. I'm a 90's kid and I had never heard of it.
Motion Capture Before Motion CaptureGiphy
Eye Toy for PS2.
I'm not sure if it really failed as such, but it seemed to barely get utilized and they built it up as if it was gunna be a game changer at the time. Most people dont know what the hell I'm on about either when I bring it up so it seemed to have little cultural impact.
Of course then things like kinect happened which were used a lot more extensively.
Parodying A Serious Topic
Police Squad. The TV show.
Cancelled after 6 episodes... years later they use the same star and the same jokes and make 3 movies, The Naked Gun series, which were hits.
Proof that the show was ahead of it's time.
Shopping From Home
I worked for a startup in 2000 that did online grocery shopping, for traditional brick and-mortar supermarkets in the US.
It went bust in 2001, about 15 years before online shopping in America became a sustainable business model.
Would We Call Them 'Black Box'?
They used to have VHS dispenser boxes just like the Redboxes you see, now.
It's been mentioned in terms of individual products, but I feel overall SEGA as a company was ahead of its time in almost every regard. A lot of things that companies are doing today were first posited or tested by SEGA and met with critical or short-term success.
We Want To EXPERIENCE The Wrinkles
Hi vision Laserdisc.
Star Lord Knows What's Up
I bought a Zune because their marketplace was $10 a month, and you could download any song and put it on your Zune.
You never owned the music, but it was still a better option that $.99 for one song from Itunes. Now 9 years later I'm paying for Spotify premium which is the same thing except with buggier/sh-ttier software. I have to click no!!!!! 50 times a day on that stupid "connect Waze to Spotify? Banner" that won't go the f-ck away no matter how many times I tell it to turn off!
Anyway, I don't know if the Zune marketplace was the first to do the unlimited music for a subscription, but it sure was the first one I ever came across.
Half the time I'm talking to Alexa it's to turn something on/off.
You Know. That Thing. We Carry With Us. Every. Day.
Kodak digital camera- invented in the 1970s. Didn't think there was a market for them.
40 years later, they're built into cellphones and millions and millions are sold annually
This is a myth; Kodak knew the digital camera would be a hit.
The problem is, Kodak didn't make hardly any money from the sale of their cameras or film; their bread & butter was selling developing chemicals. They knew the digital camera would destroy nearly all their profit, so they made the mistake of trying to bury it so that no one would think to build one, rather than try to develop it in secret and then release at the most opportune time.
Exactly this. Kodak was a chemical company, not as much a camera company.