The 5 Biggest Tech Fails of 2022

The tech industry changes every year, with new inventions and ideas coming to the fore in an attempt to change our lives forever. While many of these products and services make the grade, others don’t. These are the biggest tech fails of 2022.

1. Google Stadia

It was the most highly anticipated launch of 2019; Google Stadia was set to revolutionize gaming by giving players access to games anytime, anywhere, with no downloads or installs necessary. But it quickly became apparent that the results did not match the hype. By December 2022, Google Stadia had become one of the biggest tech flops of recent times, and certainly 2022.

In October 2022, Google announced it would shut down its Stadia cloud gaming service and refund all players for all Google and Stadia store hardware, content, and add-on purchases. And the players aren’t expected to return the products, even after receiving refunds.

Google Stadia’s issue came in many areas. One was its need for more stability and reliability. The streaming service often experienced significant lags, crashes, and disconnects, making it virtually unplayable for many users. Another issue was the limited selection of games available on the platform. While some notable titles were available at launch, most games were more minor indie titles. This made it difficult for people to get excited about the service as a viable alternative to traditional console gaming.

Overall, Google Stadia’s launch greatly disappointed gamers and tech enthusiasts. Despite its lofty ambitions, the service failed to live up to expectations and ultimately flopped in 2022.

2. Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover

elon musk at conference
Image Credit: Heisenberg Media/Wikimedia Commons

In October 2022, tech mogul Elon Musk took control of Twitter. But instead of ushering in a new era of prosperity and efficiency, his reign has been plagued with missteps and controversies. First, Musk offered a paid verification option on the platform, immediately leading to people impersonating famous personalities and big companies. His reign also led to the reinstatement of Kanye “Ye” West’s and other controversial accounts, leading to other issues with content moderation.

In a more bizarre turn of events, Musk laid off half of Twitter’s staff, only to realize he needed them to keep operations running. To further complicate matters, he introduced a new, hardcore version of Twitter 2.0 that required staffers to pledge their loyalty to him. This resulted in the exit of more engineers and other key employees.

In addition, Musk also faces a deadline for repaying the $13 billion he borrowed to buy Twitter.

This Twitter takeover has proven to be an unmitigated disaster and a cautionary tale for anyone considering a similar venture. Musk’s ambitious plan will likely be remembered as one of the biggest tech failures of 2022.

3. Bankruptcy Filings and Crashes in the Crypto Sphere

line graph showing downward trend

It was a wild year in the cryptocurrency market in 2022, with bankruptcies, crashes, and market instability as the year’s theme. The first and biggest shock to the cryptocurrency market came when Terra Luna/USD crashed, wiping nearly all of its value. Many analysts had touted the coin as an emerging asset class, but when it plunged, it took many other digital assets with it, leading to widespread market instability.

The second major crypto flop of 2022 is the FTX bankruptcy. FTX was one of the biggest exchanges for digital currencies and derivatives. Still, a sudden liquidity crisis meant that the exchange could no longer provide the services it was known for. This led to a sell-off of assets and a massive decrease in trading volumes.

Similarly, one of the most popular lending platforms for crypto, Celsius, suddenly closed its doors, leaving customers without their funds and questioning their safety. BlockFi and Three Arrows Capital (3AC) also faced bankruptcy due to their mismanagement of funds.

green celsius graphic
Image Credit: Satheesh Sankaran/Flickr

Like Celsius, BlockFi closed its doors after it could not meet its obligations to customers who had lent their money through the platform. 3AC made several large bets on specific cryptocurrencies, which ultimately didn’t pan out, leaving them with huge losses they couldn’t recover from.

Additionally, the NFT market crashed in 2022, although it boomed throughout 2021, with investors flocking to purchase artwork and collectibles in digital form. And when it crashed, so did the value of NFTs across the board, wiping out millions of dollars of investments.

These events have been an important lesson for investors and developers alike: nothing is guaranteed in this highly volatile market, and caution should always be exercised when investing in digital currencies.

Meta homepage

Meta saw some of the steepest declines in 2022. For the first time since its inception, the company saw revenue drops in the second quarter of 2022. Based on Meta’s 2022 Q3 earnings report [PDF], the company plunged 46% to earn $5.6 billion from operations against $10.4 billion in Q3 2021.

This decline is a result of Meta facing stiff competition and several high-profile scandals, including employers opposing some of the company’s practices. Also, the company’s audacious plan to launch the metaverse has been a flop so far.

Facebook became Meta Platforms in October 2021 to convey its commitment to establishing the metaverse, a virtual reality environment that connects all its products. However, it’s unclear how this metaverse will assist the average person.

Meta has spent billions of dollars and tons of resources on this ambitious initiative, but it doesn’t appear that people are interested. In the past, Meta (then Facebook) dominated headlines with record-breaking revenue, but in 2022, it trended on the crash of tech stock and layoffs.

5. Amazon Alexa

Amazon Halo Rise with Alexa

Despite being one of the most popular voice assistants on the market, Alexa has had a troubling 2022. Amazon’s voice assistant has reportedly been reduced to only being used for trivial commands like playing music or asking about the weather. And several media reports, primarily based on a Business Insider report, claim that Alexa is on track to lose billions for Amazon.

The company is said to utilize a business model that only actualizes earnings when people use their devices rather than when they buy them. As a result, as the applications of Alexa reduced, so did its income. And several customer reviews have further worsened the issue.

Many users have experienced crashes, lags, and wrong output when using Alexa. The assistant has also been accused of having poor voice recognition and criticized for having an unresponsive customer service team. Also, it was rumored that Amazon workers were eavesdropping on people’s conversations with Alexa on their devices.

In response, Amazon carried out some restructuring. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy released a note regarding role reductions in the face of uncertainties and economic difficulties. And although Jassy affirmed ample opportunities ahead for Alexa, at present, Alexa appears to be a failed project, especially with rumors about employees calling the voice assistant a wasted effort.

2023 Promises to Be Better Than 2022

Like the buildup to 2022, tech enthusiasts anticipate better optimization, improvement, maintenance of integrity, and sustainability in the tech space in 2023. However, this time, customers are less trusting in tech companies due to the mismanagement and failures of 2022.

But these failures can be repaired and prevented by developers and consultants. We must aim for perfection, clearly define performance objectives in routine situations and emergencies, and confirm that the technology meets them. If our systems are excessively complex, we must prioritize automation, support training, and regular testing until they become second nature and function when needed.

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