Case Studies of Failure

Jeff Hawkins, Numenta

After designing about a dozen computer products, Numenta’s Jeff Hawkins recalls that two – among them the Palm Pilot – were very successful, half were good, and the remaining were market failures. Here, Hawkins discusses his thinking behind some of his product flops. He also tells the story of a fulfillment disaster that occurred with the launch of the Handspring Visor. After the online ordering system failed, every one of the product’s tens of thousands of customers had to be called individually and asked if they’d received their order.