What Was Supposed to Be “The Next Big Thing”, but Flopped? Here’s What People Said.

I remember when I was growing up in Kansas in the 1990s, the town of Lawrence was referred to as “the next Seattle.”

This was the height of the grunge craze and Lawrence did (and always has) had a good music scene…but of course, that kind of recognition never came to Lawrence. So, no, it didn’t become “the next big thing.”

But that kind of stuff happens all the time.

What was supposed to be the next big thing, but it flopped?

AskReddit users shared their thoughts.

1. What’s the point?

“Amazon’s shopping buttons.

They pushed really hard for those and I never saw the point.”

2. Smaller = better?

For 20 years cell phones got smaller and smaller. Often being the main selling point of the phone.

Then all of sudden you could watch videos on your phone, and almost overnight the trend reversed to “larger is better”.”

3. Whoa.

“Soap Shoes.

These were like normal shoes, but you could grind on rails with them via an indent in the sole.”

4. Not working out?

“Not sure if this one has totally flopped yet, but I noticed while in Costco the other day that there are no longer any curved TVs.

If Costco is no longer carrying them then I think we can assume they’re going the way of the dodo.”

5. Do you remember?

“Google+ was supposed to be the answer to Facebook.

That was a lesson on how not to handle hype. There was so much hype around Google plus, it was infectious. But they refused to open it up to everyone and maintained a very hardline ‘invite only’ system.

Even once hype had peaked and there was a notable decline, still they maintained a small invite only system. I remember by the time they decided to open it up to everyone the hype was well and truly dead and no one bothered with it.

They should have cashed in when hype was high but they (I assume) got greedy, thinking the hype would just infinitely increase and people wouldn’t get bored waiting to get in.”

6. Moving on…

“3D TV.

Heard a stat from one of the 3D TV manufacturers that the average number of pairs of 3D glasses sold per 3D television was a number very much smaller than 1.

I think they were too embarrassed to actually tell everyone how tiny the attach rate was.”

7. Weird.


In the beginning, companies even bought real estate in there to allow people to visit them.

8. Didn’t work.

“Crystal Pepsi, New Coke, orange juice and toothpaste flavored Lays potato chips.”

9. Flop.

“The “Dark Universe” cinematic universe.

Starting with 2017’s THE MUMMY.”

10. History lesson.

“Quadraphonic entertainment systems in the early 1970s, were supposed to replace stereophonic systems.

Now they are chiefly remembered for inspiring the name of The Who’s second rock opera.”

11. The QB.

“Johnny Manziel.

I remember when he signed with CFL and everyone thought he was gonna absolutely dominate.


12. Ride the wave!

“Google Wave.

It was supposed to replace email with a more collaborative approach.

Essentially it was like a dynamically-created discussion board you’d share with select people and you could have a more readable discussion than one with a bunch of forwards and CCs and the like.

I thought it was a good idea, but it flopped big time and Google got rid of it after a few years.”

13. An obscure one.

“This one might be a bit obscure just because I’ve only ever met one other person familiar with it, but Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone was looking like it could’ve been the end all be all of smartphones.

Based off the Phonebloks idea of having a Lego-like hot-swappable module phone, the idea was that you could switch out any components of the phone on the fly. Camera, fingerprint scanner, even different quality screens.

Conceptually, it really looked like it could take over the phone market, as it would lead to people not having to buy whole new phones anymore, but rather replacement or upgraded parts to a phone they already liked, thereby reducing costs and increasing utility.

You don’t want a phone with 5 cameras that inflate the cost unnecessarily? Just buy a one camera module. You want a 1440P Super Amoled screen to replace your 720P regular screen? Buy one and swap it in.

However, like many Google projects, it d**d off for myriad reasons and the longstanding era of $1000 dollar smartphone slabs lived on.”

What are some more things that were supposed to be a big deal but flopped?

Talk to us in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!