So what can we learn here? A few important things:
- If a product is terrible, or meant for a market that doesn’t exist, it’s better to figure that out before you release it, not after.
- If a product has potential, it might take more than a few weeks to realize it.
- The fact a company is great at making enterprise networking hardware doesn’t mean it’ll succeed with consumery gizmos.
- Strangely enough, claiming a product is wonderful (sometimes in pricey ad campaigns) doesn’t help if it isn’t.
- People responsible for some of the greatest products ever—guys like Steve Jobs and Jeff Hawkins—are still capable of misjudging the market.
- All roads lead to HP, which killed the TouchPad and ended up owning the companies which had killed Kerbango, Audrey, and Foleo.
Right now, I’m genuinely sad over the fate of the TouchPad. I’m sorry for the people who bought it; I’m sorry for the HP employees who worked on it; I’m sorry for the HP stockholders that the company spent over a billion dollars for an operating system it lost interest in so quickly.
But the good news is this: It won’t be too long until some other product fails so fast that the TouchPad is no longer the obvious example of horrendous tech-product failure. And Silicon Valley—a place where making mistakes and moving on is part of the culture—will always try, try again.
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This article originally appeared on Technologizer…