Chutzpah: Tech's Biggest Broken Promises

By Cliff Edwards - 2012-03-05T20:01:26Z

Courtesy Sony

Company Symbol % Change
2 of 16

Sony Betamax (1975)

For Sony co-founder Akio Morita, the Betamax was one of Sony's most revolutionary products, with its ability to create pristine recordings of television shows on a stylish video-cassette recorder. "The public does not know what is possible; we do," Morita had said of Sony's products.

Yet Sony's shorter recording time and higher price tipped the scales against it in a format war that saw cheap imports of competing VHS machines flood the market. In the end, Sony's dreams of dominating home sales ended up in the ash heap. After years of dwindling sales, the line officially was killed in 2002.