Ars Technica's 2019 'Deathwatch' List Includes Essential and 'Facebook Management'
Sunday January 6, 2019. 06:34 AM , from Slashdot
The editors of Ars Technica have announced their annual 'Deathwatch' list, identifying 'companies, tech, and trends least likely to succeed in 2019.' An anonymous reader quotes their report:
The past year has been an absolute freefall for Essential.... The market was ultimately not impressed with the Essential phone, and the fire sales started almost immediately. Only two months after launch, the phone got a permanent $200 price drop, to $499. November saw deals as low as $399. Eventually, the $700 phone was discounted all the way down to $224, thanks to a mix of poor sales and a lack of consumer confidence in the company. A poorly selling phone was one thing, but things really started to look bad for Essential in May, when it was announced the company had cancelled the second generation Essential Phone. The first device took such a toll on the company that it was considering selling itself, and suddenly the future of Essential was in doubt.
While the phone was dead, in May the company said it was focusing on an upcoming smart home product and operating system. But by October, it announced that it was cutting 30 percent of its staff, and the company was pivoting away from smart home products and would try building a phone again. It will re-sell you a missing headphone jack, though. Essential's next phone -- if the company lasts that long -- is supposedly 'an AI Phone That Texts People for You' according to Bloomberg. That sounds awful. On top of all that, Essential's CEO and founder Rubin has been the subject of a major sexual misconduct controversy at Google.
They also write that 2019 'is going to probably determine whether Facebook's management team will continue as it is -- or whether there's a stockholder rebellion, or a government lawsuit, or some combination of both that drives CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others out.'
Also on their 'Deathwatch' list are Snap, and Verizon's 'AOL/Yahoo Frankenstein' -- but not Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop. 'As much as we'd love to plop Goop on the 2019 Deathwatch, it is still just on our Deathwatch wish list. Goop is, in fact, thriving.'
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