October 26, 2009, 8:26 AM —
In 1948, the Tucker sedan introduced a host of technical innovations to the automobile world, including disc brakes, seat belts, fuel injection, and a padded dashboard. But it wasn't enough to make Tucker into the next General Motors; a host of technical and legal problems ensured that only a handful of cars would be built before the company collapsed.
In more recent decades, the tech industry has seen the rise of products and services that are similarly ahead of their time. Some of them represent great ideas that couldn't really be implemented well with contemporary technology; others are brilliant plans that weren't turned into viable businesses by the first person or group to come up with them. All of them flopped, but all of them also influenced the industry. This list should serve as a warning to those who think that being the first to think of something will lead to any easy road to success.
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