Why did the PicturePhone fail?

Introduced in 1964, the PicturePhone was a fascinating, ahead-of-its-time technology that ultimately failed miserably — costing Bell half a billion dollars. The Engineer Guy explains what went wrong.

I really dig his series on great tech failures. They're all great examples of lessons that I learned studying the electric grid and the development of large-scale energy infrastructure. The technologies we end up using weren't inevitable winners preordained by the quality of their engineering. The best technologies often fail. And tech failures happen not because of engineering alone, but because of a complicated interplay of history, culture, technology, and society.


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