• octopustvlive

Octopus TV Failure Awards - Twitter Peek by Andrew Eborn

Octopus TV Failure Awards - Twitter Peek by Andrew Eborn

Andrew Eborn, President of Octopus TV Ltd and Knot The Truth Ltd, is a renowned international lawyer, strategic business adviser, producer, broadcaster, writer, columnist, futurolist and in high demand as a presenter, magician and speaker around the world.

Andrew Eborn is now working across the IP value chain including the creation and licensing of content in all media from production, publishing, distribution, supply of talent, management, promotion, immersive technology and holograms.

For many years Andrew Eborn has empowered companies to face the challenges of changing markets, maximise the return on their rights and assist with the strategic development of their businesses.

In this weekly series, Andrew Eborn, President of Octopus TV and Founder of the Octopus TV Failure Awards, shines a light on the products and services, brand extensions and campaigns that failed to take off and have as a result earned entry into the Octopus TV Failure Awards.

As Andrew points out “We always celebrate success whilst hiding the failures that led to that success. The Octopus TV Failure Awards finally give failure the attention it deserves. If necessity is the mother of invention then failure is the father of success. From failed products and services to campaigns and ads we would rather forget, we want to encourage organisations and brands to be better at learning from failures not just ignoring them and pretending they never happened.”


As we #celebrate the #12thAnniversary of the #Hashtag #debut on #Twitter tittering at people’s twitterings with fond memories of #Susanalbumparty and #Sheeranalbumparty

it seemed #timely to look at #OctopusTVFailureAwards nominee the #TwitterPeek ….


Twitter Stats

Twitter has 330 million monthly active users

sending 500 million Tweets per day.

80% on mobile.

“Twitter is where you get to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now” (Leslie Berland, Twitter’s Chief Marketing Officer (@leslieberland ).

It is “the people’s news network”. (co-creator and CEO Jack Dorsey)

Over 80% of world leaders are active on Twitter.

Certainly, Twitter is Donald Trump's communication weapon of choice..

In fact, Monness Crespi Hardt analyst James Cakmak believes if @RealDonaldTrump were to leave Twitter the social media company would lose as much as $2bn in market value

“There is no better free advertising in the world than the President of the United States,” said Cakmak.

It’s fair to say, however, that not even @POTUS @RealDonaldTrump would be tempted by this week’s nominee for The Octopus TV Failure Awards – The Twitter Peek

Peek Inc

Peek Inc, is a mobile tech company founded in 2007 by three of the first four employees of Virgin Mobile USA.

In September 2008 Peek launched its first product “the Peek” - an email only handheld device.

In 2008 Time selected Peek as one of the 50 Best Inventions of the Year. It was voted the #1 entry in the Gadget of the Year review on

Wired Magazine also named Peek their #1 Gadget on their "Gear of the Year" pointing out "not every gadget needs a carnival of features. Take the Peek, which tackles just a single task: mobile email. No phone, no browser, no camera—and no apologies. ….this one-trick pony is a godsend”

Peek Inc Duck

Encouraged by the phenomenal success of its first product Peek Inc assumed that one trick ponies were the way to go and so in 2009 they introduced the Twitter Peek (aka The Tweek”} – a portable device that only does Twitter - yours for $199.

Whilst the Peek was a #StunningSuccess the Tweek was a #FabulousFailure

CNN listed it as one of the top 10 biggest technology failures of 2009

pointing out that the reaction of many to the release of the Twitter Peek was a collective, "Huh?" "I already have a $200 device to update's called my iPhone."

Gizmodo named Twitter Peek as one of the "50 Worst Gadgets of the Decade”

The main question is why this product ever existed?

It’s rather like selling an oven that can only cook Colgate Beef Lasagne

Even if people did want a device that only did Twitter – which they didn’t - you would have to make sure it does Twitter well. The fact is the Tweek failed at doing that as it missed many Twitter functions. Using the Tweek was a painfully slow experience. The messages were truncated with only the first 20 characters being shown. Clicking on links brought up a “horribly slow browser” that displayed poorly formatted text only version of the linked webpage and the Tweek only supported one account.

There was a deluge of damning reviews

“The Twitter Peek is so dumb it makes my brain hurt.”

“This is a device that is built on flawed logic and executed poorly. I can't think of a single person in a single situation where this would make sense. I just can't believe this thing exists.”

PC Magazine gave it just one and a half stars “dismal”

It was a device designed to solve a problem that just did not exist

As Gizmodo asked

“What's next…. How about a batman utility belt full of like 20 devices each doing the equivalent of one app, for seven bucks a month, each?”

As PC Magazine pointed out “Twitter is already a pretty stripped-down service. TwitterPeek makes it less useful, less flexible, and less interesting.”

TwitterPeek is for people who want Twitter, but don't want to surf the Web on their phones.

Do they exist?”


On February 1, 2012, Peek announced that it had terminated service for all its dedicated hardware in a move to cloud-only service.

As Frankie Howerd would say - Twitter ye not !

Lesson to be learnt

Past success does not guarantee future performance. As always, carry out research to ensure that there is actually a market for your product and if you do decide to launch a new product ensure that that product delivers what it promises.

The Twitter Peek failed on several levels both flawed logic and execution. For these reasons The Tweek is this week’s nomination for The Octopus TV Failure Awards.

Prize for the first person to notify Peek via Twitter .. Ed Sheeran and Susan Boyle will bring the records and we can all celebrate with #analbumparty

See you next time for more fantastically fabulous failures ….

In the meantime, I hope that you and yours have a fantastic Christmas.

Celebrate in style – just be careful what you Tweet !

© Andrew Eborn 2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewEborn and @OctopusTV

From failed products and services to campaigns and ads we would rather forget, we want to encourage organisations and brands to be better at learning from failures not just ignoring them and pretending they never happened.

Send your nominations with full description and images to

In addition to international recognition and glittering prizes the winners will receive the much valued TOFA

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S. Lewis

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” - Winston Churchill

30 views0 comments