In January, I wrote about the five companies that I felt would fail this year and since the year is almost up I figured it would be a great time to look at them again to see what they have done.
When I say “fail” I am not thinking they will disappear (although they might), but fail in the sense of what they are trying to achieve and categories they are trying to keep.
When will Vista come out? That was the question that many technologists have been asking for the past three years and the answer is clear now: 2007. The early reports of Vista have been mostly positive from what I have read, but not because it is better than OS X (be sure to checkout David Pogue’s video review). It is because it is better than Windows XP, which is something you would hope for anyways. However, with the amount of delays it has gone through it has surely tarnished Microsoft’s image and given Apple a bit of an edge with certain people and although they will continue to dominate the desktop market for a while longer, their hold on the world is continuously slipping.
The Zune also launched and to put it simply is a failure. It’s not even compatible with Vista and having a cool feature such as wireless music sharing is pointless if no one around you is using a Zune as well. The iPod killer became its own killer shortly after launch.
Microsoft continues to make billions, but in my mind they failed. They failed to re-establish themselves as an important company. Their moves always seem to be 10 steps behind the competition and in this fast-paced web world we are beginning to see that money only goes so far and quality and execution seem to go further. The one plus I give them this year is the XBOX 360. Kudos.
They never gained any ground on Apple, although they have been releasing great products this year. They only own one part of the music market, while Apple owns the whole vertical. Hard to beat that.
Google definitely proved me wrong this year.
- Stock doesn’t slow down.
- Google Reader released and in my eyes is the best web-based RSS reader available.
- Buys YouTube, which was a genius purchase. Yes, I said it was a genius purchase.
- A number of other acquisitions that have only strengthened their diversity.
- There are reports that Orkut has surpassed MySpace in total traffic.
It has been a very good year for Google.
- Six Apart.
I have not been kind to Six Apart this year at all. First I put them on the 5 companies that will fail list and then I place them on the Top 10 Web 2.0 Losers list. But then Vox showed up and they hit a homerun with this one.
Vox truly is your space on the web where you can share whatever you want with family and friends and keep it just between family and friends. It has a great design and is easy to play with. TypePad and LiveJournal remain strong and although MovableType is dead in the water (I don’t care what you say), Vox puts them over the failure category and makes 2006 a successful year for them. High five to Anil.
Continue to lose their grip of reader’s attention. I don’t have the answer for them to turn things around, but I hope they find it.
So in my eyes I got three out of five correct from my January list. Not bad, but not great. Props to Google and Six Apart for proving me wrong and I wish them continued success in 2007. To the rest of the companies I wish them luck as well, they will need it.