how about these examples (some not so recent)
Food: those orbitz drinks by clearly canadian that had floating little jelly blobs
Clothing: those hypercolor shirts that were heat sensitive and would change colors. (ended up with a lot of people with different colored armpits)
HDTV. Enough said.
Segway: Tied with HDTV as the overhyped product of the decade
Palm: Not as pervasive/profitable as everyone assumed
Minidisc: Will Sony just please kill it?
Internet delivery services: Webvan, Cosmo
Macromedia Flash: Still a small niche despite its coolness
Java: Always on the verge of a comeback…
Paperless office: there’s more than ever
Leisure time: Technologies failed promise (and yet I still see those awful ads promising time on the beach instead of the office…)
Design-on-demand: Nike and Levis played with it, but it never caught on the way everyone said it would
Modular Products: Never caught on, but designers keep pushing it…
N-gage was a big failuire and a big joke and a product that people loved to hate. Here’s a parody site http://www.sidetalkin.com/ that illustrates the ridiculous user interface/social gesture required by the gaming mobile phone.
Embarassingly goofy icon of the 90s-- maybe. Bad design-- not really. This was a fun and new clothing concept (interactive clothing) and became an object of desire in my middle school, so I don’t see that as “bad design.”
Please look out of your backyard, I didn’t say Minidisc was big in “America”
(though the previous owner of mini-disco (now kidrobot) might disagree)
Even though cd’s are more prevalent you can still rent/buy albums and singles on MD in Japan. However like recordable media here their main market is for ‘taping’ things. With net MD the whole process has gotten faster and more streamlined. Plus compared to freakishly expensive MP3 players and ipods, MD’s are a good and economical alternative.
(though mp3 playing cd players are even better in this respect)
I might be wrong but Flash seems to be almost ubiquitous on many of the ‘cool’ websites that I have visited or regularly visit. If it is not the whole site that is flash many contain elements of flash (that you may have mistaken for animated gifs.) ask yourself how many times you’ve seen those “skip intro” button at the splash page of a site…they’re everywhere.
I have many flash sites bookmarked, not just for their originality and novelty but since many of them offer interface capabilities only dreamt of in regular html (even with css).
(even the new kinder egg marketing campaign utilizes flash
as does a number or band websites like linkin park etc)
I won’t list them all but some flash places I (an many many others too) regularly visit or have encountered are: