Social networking software is ubiquitous, from Facebook to Flickr, defining the internet for many users. However, this is a recent phenomenon. Is the timing due to socio-technical determinism, inspiration of individuals, or sheer chance? While much has been written about recent successful social networking sites, this paper takes a different approach and examines vfridge, a social networking application developed 10 years ago, well before the current explosion, which, despite a vision that now seems prescient, was unsuccessful. The reasons for failure are partly about timing and market conditions, but also yield valuable lessons for future innovative applications.