Biggest Technical Goofs in Recent History

Slashdot links to an Australian PC Authority article listing out what they consider to be the top 10 technology mistakes in recent history. The first entry, Windows ME, of course kindly disposes me to the rest of the list. There are some other choice entries, like Facebook’s beacon and the Sony rootkit DRM.

The list also blends into an equal number of market mistakes, like the Apple III and the IBM PS/2. Both were attempts to hold onto markets that were slipping out of the grasp of the respective computer makers. I suppose there is a deeper, not immediately obvious corollary with the Sony rootkit DRM fiasco about the risk of trying to control a market too tightly.

The list, including a couple of choice runners up, is a good representation of different kinds of mistakes that often ruin even the most startling brilliant engineering ideas. I take it as a good reminder to stay humble and adaptable. Just because you are smart enough to design and build some ridiculously sophisticated piece of engineering doesn’t make you immune to simple human error.

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