Culture of Fail

17 12 2010

While the jury is still out on the long term viability of the Kinect, certainly there can be no debate about it’s success short term.  Since it’s release it has been selling about 100,000 per day and is on pace to sell 5 million by the end of the year.  That’s anywhere from $500-$750 million dollars in revenue.  I had vague recollections of reviewers certain that Kinect would fail so I went searching.

Some of the doom and gloom prophecies were quite fun in retrospect, but man, there are a lot of them.  I wonder how many people thought it would succeed.  Since many bloggers seem to have a grudge against Microsoft, I didn’t have high hopes.  Sure enough, according to Bing, “Kinect will succeed” had 37 results while “Kinect will fail” had 471 (quotes included in both queries).  Windows phone is even more fun!    179 succeed vs. 54,500,000 fail. 

Here are some more:






78 (92%)

7 ( 8%)

Windows 7

377 (84%)

74 (16%)


471 (93%)

37 (7%)

Windows Phone 7

54,500,000 (100%)

177 (0%)


214 (61%)

138 (39%)

Google TV

62 (62%)

38 (38%)


61 (75%)

20 (25%)


134 (75%)

44 (25%)

Interesting side note: “Windows Phone 7 will fail” returns only 216 results in Chrome (versus the IE9 number of 54,500,000).  I have tried it dozens of times with similar results.  Not sure what Bing is doing.

What I find most interesting is that no matter what the product is, there are more “fail” than “succeed” links.  Of course, there is a lot of noise here, but it seems to me, negativity must sell. 

Interestingly enough, here are the results for Microsoft, Apple and Google:


FAIL (k)



55,200 (59%)

38,200 (41%)



37,800 (41%)



37,800 (41%)

Now that’s just weird.

It is much easier to point out shortcomings than it is to give praise.  The internet just reflects this pattern.  That said, these numbers don’t mean much other than things that fail probably generate more clicks things that succeed. 


From XKCD: