Have you ever heard the expression, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Well, that expression is famous for a reason. Greatness is not a never-ending upward slope, but a delicate balance on the peak of a mountaintop which at any moment may tip and fall down the hill. These companies took their products on a downward sleigh ride.
Here were some of those answers.
They Are Decidedly Not SorryGiphy
The board game Sorry. Used to love sorrying my opponent and getting that sweet win at long last. Got it for my sister for Christmas and apparently now there's only 3 pawns and the cards are all way better. Heck you can get out of start with any card so a sorry doesn't hurt at all.
It Ain't Magic No More
Citrus Magic discs. For anyone unfamiliar with them, they're cheap little scented discs that you can get at the grocery store with a sticker that covers the top. The disc is about 1 to 2 inches thick and has a scented wax type material inside.
The old Citrus Magic discs (the white ones) were SUPER potent. Got a small bathroom with no ventilation? Get a Citrus Magic disc, peel the sticker off it and stick that bad boy on the back of the toilet! Your bathroom will reek of citrus for DAYS!
Now they redesigned them and added a couple other scents. The citrus scent comes in this awful avocado green color and has no where near the potency the old ones had. In fact, it's barely even scented at all. Definitely high up on the list of disappointing sh*t in my life.
Anyway, that concludes my rant about Citrus Magic discs. Hope you enjoyed yourself. I didn't.
This one's kinda obscure.
In Taiwan, there was this toothpaste called "Black Man's Toothpaste." Originally, the toothpaste was actually really good, having a refreshing and slightly sweet minty taste. But then they redid the formula and the new taste is mint plus this really nasty chemical/rubber taste.
The End Of An Era
Yahoo. They f*cked up the entire website. Answers and games were both good ways to kill time, they remodeled it and I never went back.
For those asking about how Answers changed, once upon a time Answers was this clean green user friendly interface. It was easy to navigate, wasn't cluttered and just simple. They remodeled it, took the green away and changed the structure and view of the page. It was a cluttered, ad filled mess that made little sense. I tried it for one day and said goodbye to my years on answers with Top Contributor status and never went back.
Mmm, Mmm, ...Not So GoodGiphy
Cheez Whiz was reformulated so it would melt easier in the microwave oven. But that changed the flavor and texture, and it's never been as good as before the switch.
Campbell's condensed soups have all had their recipes changed. Now the chicken noodle one has little or no chunks of chicken in it, and the broth tastes like water that rolled by a chicken once. Yech.
Cardboard's For Kids
About every single cereal that I remember from my childhood has been "improved" and cost-optimized to taste like over-sweetened cardboard.
For those who think it is just my palate changing preferences, there's lots of examples where businesses have been swapping ingredients to cut costs.
They have also responded to public pressures to remove artificial ingredients and colors, and people hate it because it changes the taste.
The Reason Reddit Exists
I was an early employee at Digg through nearly the end so I can speak to this. Digg V3 was losing evermore traffic to Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. Staying the same was not an option. At that inflection point in particular, Twitter was very hot and the idea of 'following' people was thought to be the way forward. When V4 was mocked up and beta testers were let in the engagement was actually really quite good - better than V3 for sure. By the end we had opened beta to I think 40K people and the feedback was encouraging.
A big problem we had in V3 was always flirting with near write-saturation of our databases (reaching the limit at which we could write data to the single machine master) so for V4 we decided to switch to Cassandra which is "highly writable" (can write to many machines) and wouldn't have that problem. Cassandra was very new and not yet tested at the levels of Digg and sadly when V4 launched it completely fell apart. The dev or ops teams had very little sleep for about 4 days as we tried everything possible to mitigate the problems. We eventually did, but the damage was done.
While it's easy to say 'boy, you guys did something stupid' it only looks that way because from the outside you don't know that things were trending downwards and we had to make a major technical change (even if we stayed on V3) if the site was going to grow. You can argue the changes for V4 were ultimately what the public did not want, but again, many of those changes were made specifically based on user feedback and an extensive beta. There was a whole team of Product people trying to give the public what they were asking for.
If I could mention one thing that I think the uppermost management did wrong (likely driven by the investors) was to try and make Digg the next CNN (in terms of being a large media company) and not allowing 'self posts' (like Reddit does) which makes it more of a forum system. There were those of us that thought we should do that, but honestly there wasn't likely to be any money in it (see how Reddit struggles) and at that point it did seem like you could have a user-driven wisdom of the crowds media company which would compete with the big guys. Of course it's easy to look back and see that was the wrong way to go, but no one knew for sure then...
I Can't Believe It's Not Bubbles
F*cking scrubbing bubbles bathroom cleaner. Not only are the containers smaller, but you have to spray for a goddamn hour before the foam comes out. And now I actually have to scrub the bathtub when I clean it, IVE NEVER HAD TO DO THAT WITH THE OLD SPRAY, THE DIRT JUST CAME OFF
I don't want your new citrus scent I want my old bathroom cleaner that f*cking worked.
Edit: For those seeking an alternative; Clorox bleach, Kaboom, Melamine foam (had to look this up), and Comet liquid or powder are all legit. Also u/F*ckMississippi, a true intellectual, recommends using a cheap broom to stand and scrub your tub instead of bending over to do so.
The Hallmark Of Puzzle Games
Tetris on the original Nintendo Game Boy.
I think I've tried all of the iPhone variants of Tetris, web versions, and nothing comes close to replicating the feel of the original.
On a smartphone, it doesn't help that there are no hardware buttons. Tapping on the screen obviously will never feel the same.
Oh, and the Game Boy never popped up and asked me to pay for boosters with fake in-game currency.
FM To FuneralGiphy
Car radios. Hear me out.
About a year ago, we got a trailblazer, early 2000's model. Good SUV, I got no complaints, except for the f*cking car radio the previous owner installed. Everybody was going on and on about how this radio is a great, top of the line, brand new radio. Its sh*t. Want to know why?
This f*cking radio has a touch screen. There are no knobs that control it. Want to increase the volume? Touch screen. Change the channel? Touch screen. Switch to CD player? Touch screen. Want to preset a radio channel so you can flip to it without searching the channels? Touch screen.
You know what you can't do while driving? LOOK DOWN AT A F*CKING TOUCH SCREEN. The entire screen feels the same, there's no way for me to non-visually orient myself to figure out what does what. If I want to turn up the volume, I have to look down. If I want to change the channel, I have to look down. If I want to do ANYTHING with this f*cking radio, I have to look down. If I turn on the radio and I don't like what i'm hearing, I have to ask the passenger to fix it because I can't without risking my life and the lives of everyone on the road. and If there is no passenger? I have to wait for a red light, or at least a stop sign. I live in Kentucky. Do you know how often I drive on LOOOOOOOOOONG stretches of roads with NO STOPS? ALL THE F*CKING TIME.
RADIOS WERE FINE. THEY WERE FINE WITH KNOBS AND BUTTONS.
Nobody needed to reinvent the f*cking wheel! Touch screens aren't some be-all end-all technological improvement that makes our lives better. Just give me a f*cking radio that doesn't put me in mortal danger!