When you think of tech blunders over the past decade, it's easy to dig through the dot-com graveyard to unearth the Webvans of the world. You certainly don't expect to see the list include the world's leading video-sharing site and a subscription service that is 18.6 million members strong.
I'm hoping that I'm not the only one scratching my head after looking over Time's list -- complied by 24/7 Wall St. -- of the 10 largest tech failures over the past 10 years.
Many of the entries do make sense. Vonage
However, the two tech failures on the list that really left me shaking my head are Google's
YouTube? Really? For the month of January, YouTube surpassed 100 million unique visitors, according to comScore. In other words, a third of the country caught a YouTube clip. That is certainly not a failure.
The article blasts Google for its inability to monetize the site, and that is only partly true. Google doesn't break down YouTube's financial performance, though it's clear that Google -- as a whole -- is a well-run, high-margin company. If YouTube is a sandbag, it's not very good at it.
Google is already making inroads into monetizing the site. It is widening its revenue-sharing partnership program. It is doing a better job of accommodating brand advertising campaigns on its landing page. It is even allowing clip creators to pay to promote their videos.
Google could have come along quicker on many of these fronts, but it could have been costly. Visitors would have flocked to smaller sites if Google followed media giants into diluting its site experience with pre-roll advertisements and more intrusive marketing.
Sirius XM is another surprising nix in the mix. It is coming off its first sequential dip in subscribers, but the satellite radio giant still has 18.6 million users on its rolls. Its cash flow picture is improving, and it is doing an admirable job of shaving costs during the lull.
YouTube and Sirius XM aren't perfect, but how can they be considered tech failures? If that's what passes for failure these days, I can't imagine how high the bar of success must be.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is ready to officially classify himself as a clip culture junkie. He's also a subscriber to both Sirius and XM. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.