2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people. With so many problems presenting themselves this year, technology wasn’t immune. This week, we thought we would look back at some of the technology that failed miserably as the world changed precipitously.
Quibi’s Quick Exit
In 2020, streaming services are all the rage. That’s why Quibi thought that they could alter the business model somewhat and succeed. The streaming service offered some of the biggest names out there in short-form episodes. With so much talent connected it was easy for Quibi founders to get the financial backing they needed, some $1.75 billion in all, to press forward. They charged $5 a month for the service. At that price point, how could they fail?
With the pandemic sheltering a lot of people in place, people just didn’t have the need for mobile-exclusive short-form content. Quibi wasn’t available on any of the devices that people use to view content from home and therefore had middling demand, despite the celebrity attached.
Quibi shut down service just seven months after it’s debut and most of the remaining investment was returned to the financiers.
So, what can we learn from Quibi’s failure?
The old adage “timing is everything” stands true. Not to say that Quibi couldn’t have failed in a normal economy, but the COVID-19 pandemic made people a lot less reliant on mobile for their chosen content and it negatively affected the company’s chances to succeed.
Zoom’s Security Missteps
As people were asked to stay inside to ward against the spread of COVID-19, individuals and businesses began to lean heavily on conferencing solutions. Some platforms simply weren’t up to the challenge, but as the pandemic entered its second month, Zoom answered the call and was being used by hundreds of millions of people.
Unfortunately, Zoom didn’t have the security in place early on, and it had negative effects for people. Hate groups would “Zoombomb” a meeting and share their bigoted world view, and other people reported being inundated with lewd conduct from outside parties while in a Zoom meeting.
Since then, Zoom has built onto their service and now has the security needed to be used by so many people to this day.
Celebrity Twitter Hack
It’s off putting when people’s social media accounts get hacked. 2020 saw some of the most high-profile people’s Twitter accounts get hacked as a part of a Bitcoin scam. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and Kanye West all had their Twitter accounts hacked in the scam.
Twitter quickly locked down the accounts and put the kibosh on the scam and has since taken further steps to ensure that that kind of scam won’t happen again, but questions about account security and data privacy remain as a result of the hack.
Coronavirus Myths and Misinformation
In times of public crisis, hackers and scammers typically thrive. This was evident for most of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic brought out the worst. With so many people conducting their business and social lives online, it was the perfect opportunity for cybercriminals. Here are a few examples of problems created for people online due to the coronavirus:
- Numerous conspiracy theories linking the development of 5G connectivity to COVID-19, resulting in acts of cell tower vandalism and assault against telecom employees.
- Bill Gates being accused of masterminding COVID-19 or using the pandemic to implant people with microchips—despite his long history of contributing to disease-fighting causes and efforts.
- Fumbled information sharing efforts on the part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
This was the year that you saw social media platforms step up and take a more aggressive stand against the sharing and spreading of misinformation.
How Does Any of This Affect Your Business?
You can take it one of two ways: First, it demonstrates that technology isn’t always the answer to every problem, but if used as intended it can provide a lot of benefits. Second, regardless of the problems presented in the world, people will turn to technology to try and normalize their experiences.
At JensenIT, we realize that 2020 hasn’t been the year you projected it to be, but with hardworking people looking to end this pandemic and get our day-to-day lives back to where they were in 2019, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Technology has been a big part of keeping economic and social lines of communication open during a time when we are all distanced from one another, and will play a big part in the post COVID-19 world.
How did you use technology this year? Share your positive and negative experiences in the comments section below and return to our blog regularly for more great technology content.