15 Worst Business Decisions Ever

15 Worst Business Decisions Ever


• From corporate marketing wars that fail
to compromising on liquor ingredients and paying the price, we count 15 times companies
have been awful decisions for greed, ignorance or desperation
15 – Star Wars, (DONT SAY TITLES) • It was 1977, Star Wars hadn’t even released
when 20th Century Fox did the dumbest thing ever – they handed all merchandising rights
to George Lucas • In return all they got was a measly $20,000
dollars, but George became the head of a 3 billion dollar plus company with reach all
over the globe, its profits continuing to grow with each passing day
• Fox had absolutely no idea what Star Wars would become, and for this blunder they missed
out on claiming one of the biggest media franchise trademarks ever
14 – Cosby Show, • Before The Cosby Show passed into the
hands of NBC, becoming a huge hit right from the first season, ABC passed on their chance
to get a slice of the pie • Cosby made a pitch to ABC for the show,
but they wouldn’t offer him a commitment without a script or pilot ready, so he turned to NBC
where it catapulted from third on the Nielson ratings to 1st for 5 more entire seasons
• It went on to become the biggest hit of the 180s and almost single-handedly revived
the sitcom genre 13 – E.T,
• 1981, the blockbuster hit E.T the Extra Terrestrial – Steven Spielberg approached
Mars the confectionary company to feature M&Ms as a small plot device in the film
• The chief executives at Mars declined outright and the producers behind E.T were
forced to go with their second choice: Hershey and their Reese’s Pieces
• When the film was released, Reese’s Pieces were having dire sales but then E.T came along
and sales of the candy triples with re-orders coming in as many as 10 times a day for over
two weeks • Mars, pissed at the missed opportunity,
heavily implied they’d never even received an offer
12 – Kodak, • We’re in the age of rapidly advancing
technology with the first digital cameras only appearing in the early 90s
• But 15 years earlier in 1975, Kodak made the world’s first ever digital camera with
a patent ready for mass-production – but they did nothing, and so let their competitors
invent it first • The reason? They didn’t want to destroy
the film industry and subsequently end their own company, but had they produced this revolution
for mass market, you might’ve ended up with a Kodak brand smartphone
• Instead, they went bankrupt in 2012 and fell into obscurity
11 – Schlitz Beer, • Back in the 70s, Shlitz was one of the
biggest beer manufacturing companies in all of America only behind Budweiser
• Then they made a fatal decision – to cheap the ingredients in order to produce beer faster,
which, for a while, worked quite well • But then people began to notice that the
beer would form floaties in the bottom which congealed into a thick mucus – and Shiltz
didn’t recall them, even after realising • Eventually they had to cave in, but not
after 10 million cans had been shipped, crippling their finances and ending their juggernaut
company not even 10 years later 10 – Google,
• It was in the 90s that search engines on the internet were few and far between – you
had Yahoo, Excite and Lycos – myself I used Webcrawler before it got bombarded with ads
and paid links when InfoSpace took over • The original owners of Webcrawler called
Excite were actually offered all of Google for only a million dollars, but Excite declined
– to pour further salt into the wound, Google lowered their offer to $750,000 but still
not interested • Not even 10 years later, Google went public
and today they’re earning 60 billion dollars annually
• Excite ended up getting merged with Ask.com in 2004
9 – Oil, • 1859, back when shovels and picks were
the tool of choice to dig up oil – then along came Edwin Drake and his uncle who invented
the first ever oil-drilling apparatus • When Drake approached some salt-well drillers
with his machine, they laughed and called him crazy
• Very soon after, diggers realised how much of a goldmine it was – they rushed in
and became overnight millionaires, although poor Drake forgot to patent the machine but
luckily the state of Pennsylvania and oil barons paid him to express their gratitude
8 – Telephone, • Western Union, a big name in the communications
industry during the late 1800s with the president infamously scoffing at the idea of a telephone
• For $100,000 he could’ve bought a patent that changed the world, but instead he wrote
a letter calling the invention an electrical toy with no commercial possibilities
• Two years later, the president of Western Union realised his giant mistake, so spiteful
that he employed Thomas Edison to outdo it – which never really happened
7 – Microsoft Bob, • Back before Windows 95, we had Windows
3.1 and this infamous piece of software known as Microsoft Bob
• It was like Clippie from Microsoft Office but 10x more insulting – it displayed software
icons as objects inside a house and was the software responsible for the text font Comic
Sans • It might’ve been decent if it hadn’t come
out the same year as Windows 95, which incorporated an easy-to-use interface without the silly
dumbed-down experience 6 – Apple,
• There was a time when the corporate giant known as Apple worked in a garage, but when
they went to Atari to sell their revolutionary personal computers, they said no
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak the founders of Apple even said, hey, it’s built from your
parts, and you can have the computer just let us work for you – but still the answer
was no • Apple now has a market value in the 100s
of billions of dollars, whereas Atari pretty much faded into obscurity
5 – Beatles, • 1962, a time before the Beatles were celebrities
– they auditioned at Decca Records in London and the executive of talent rejected their
performance • He said to his manager, groups are out
and four-piece groups with guitars are finished • Unfortunately for him, over 2 billion
Beatles albums sold all over the world in Beatlemania
4 – New Coke, • It’s hard to imagine that Coke has been
around for over a hundred years, and it was hard to foresee that when the producers of
Coca-Cola introduced a new formula under the brand of New Coke, the backlash would be intense
• But that’s exactly what happened – despite New Coke tasting fine, the emotional attachment
built over a hundred years from a consistent brand was too deep, and customers exploded
with fury • Within 3 months, New Coke was gone and
Coke Classic returned to enormously high sales numbers thanks to all that controversy
3 – Blockbuster, • A more recent one, the year 2000 when
video rental stores were booming, Netflix offered itself to help Blockbuster sell their
brand online • Blockbuster did NOT accept their offer
and instead had a terrible 10 years while internet movies and tv shows became a thing,
eventually filing for bankruptcy in 2010 • They could’ve bought Netflix for $50 million
and instead, their stubbornness made them crumble into nothing
2 – M*A*S*H, • 1972, M*A*S*H became a surprise hit for
20th Century Fox, but then a couple of big stars dropped out after a few seasons and
Fox panicked • Foreseeing the show wouldn’t have long
to live, they decided to sell rights for old seasons to various local TV stations, earning
$25 million dollars • But then 4 years later, a thing Fox thought
extremely unlikely happened – the show was still massively popular, each TV station grossed
over a million dollars per aired episode out of 168 and Fox got nothing
1 – Wal-Mart • A story about one of the few times when
marketing fails and customer support wins – a war between K-Mart and Wal-Mart in the
1980s • When both companies decided to duke it
out, K-Mart launched an all-out publicity campaign to raise public awareness of their
store and Wal-Mart, without the funds to beat them, decided to focus on improving stocked
shelf efficiency and immediate checkouts • Wal-Mart obliterated K-Marts sales in
the U.S simply from good customer service and K-Mart had been struggling to keep up
ever since

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. awh I remember my dad taking my and my siblings to blockbuster all the time. too bad they made the decision

  2. It's crazy how Coco-cola makes so much money from selling something so useless. It's sugar water poison… A can of coke will cost you a lot more than a dollar in the long run.

  3. Xerox was the creator of the first computer operating system with an easy to use GUI, all but let Bill Gates rip them off.

  4. I like the new coke. But thought it was a bad move to pull the original, they should have just introduced the new coke as another coke product. Leaving the original coke in place.

  5. Coca Cola really did something foolish back in the 1970's into the foray of making Coke taste like Pepsi use to taste. More later. Market share was stated as Coke wante 100% market share but due to Pepsi , Coke was at 98% market share. I tremendous amount of research was invested by Coke to get a better taste profile similar to Pepsi. As this story told was correct, there was tremendous negative backlash at Coke for changing a taste profile that was enjoyed my all Americans for over 100 years. Even when Coke returned their "Classic Coke" , to me, it did not taste exactly the same as I remembered. I stayed with Pepsi until 1989 and then Pepsi did something they removed from their formulation of their product. This was an ephemeral taste at the end what I termed "Pepsi essence" I could not vocabularize. Even when Pepsi brought back "Throwback Pepsi" with REAL Sugar, their product did not take taste the same as to my taste memory from childhood into adolescence, and finally into adulthood. Not a happy camper

  6. If any if you know what Hastings is you know what I am talking about. Earlier this year the entire franchise went out of business. I heard they went bankrupt due to some bad investment they made. Appearantly F.Y.E. wanted them to merge but Hastings said no…and look what happened. I also heard a rumor that Burger King is going out of business…..but that is just a rumor.

  7. K-mart employees were following a couple of my friends and I when we were in the electronics area trying to looks for a good pairs of earphones but they asked if we were buying anything and we said not atm since we were picky and we were only around the area for not even 5 minutes so not long after they kicked us out. but when we go to Walmart, the employees never really do anything even close to that, unless your are messing around with one of their products like some people do, they tell you something but they never kicked people out for it.

  8. in regards to the Kmart, Walmart battle, Walmart won because their selection was a bit better, they had better management, and lower prices. People don't care about customer service, they want decent products for next to nothing. It's all about low prices, that's why there is so many Dollar stores now.

    Kmart had horrible leadership, their prices weren't really that great (except for blue light specials, which was a dumb gimmick), and worst of all they let their stores look like utter shit, day in and day out. I remember going to Kmart quite often as a child (one was 30 seconds away from my house, their parking lot touched by backyard) and the store was always trashed, with product usually everywhere, even on the floors.

    What also killed them was that they literally took any return. I remember going in to return some clothes for my mom as a teen, and the customer service lady didn't even check the bag I had them in, I could have put dog turds in the bag, but I had a receipt, so she just handed me money, never checking the bag. It all starts at the top, so Kmart was the definition of bad management.

    I worked with one of their former Regional Managers just a few years ago at a grocery store, and he was a complete idiot, and this was someone who was in charge of an entire region for Kmart. He didn't even know how to send an email, it was embarrassing. Dude was never qualified to make it past cashier, but he was a minority so he got pushed to the top. Kmart was huge on making minorities their leaders, whether they were qualified or not.

  9. Dammit Kmart, bad choice. And fox, why do you keep making bad business choices? You cancelled family guy 2-5 times

  10. To be fair, Netflix weren't even considering online streaming when they offered themselves to Blockbuster. It would have just made Blockbuster get into the DVD mailing service quicker, Blockbuster would have died anyway. The only purpose for the Blockbuster company (and pretty much any company) was to fit the demand of customers at a certain point (in this case, the early 90's).

  11. NBC removing Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show" when he was still #1 to replace him with Conan O'Brien (because they were so afraid to lose him to another network), and then in order to keep him from going to ABC, talking Jay into doing a show at 10pm. Horrible plan that damaged both guys' careers.

  12. Wow, FOX made it on this video twice. Why not make a video called "10 Biggest FOX Fuck Ups Ever" – You'd probably be able to name at least 20 almost immediately. It'd be easy!

  13. BMW stopped making Engine Oil Dipsticks! Not only that, a lot of cars out there don't have transmission fluid dipsticks! That should've been on the list!

  14. None of these beats the Xerox Alto…Xerox invented the graphical user interface for a computer in 1973 along with the mouse and ability to network and print. This was literally 10 years before the Apple Lisa credited with these features. They had 2000 working models they used internally in the company and never sold a single one. To add insult to injury, they showed Steve Jobs and the Apple team the computer and it inspired the creation of the Apple Lisa 10 years later…

  15. what about when nintendo ended their partnership with sony and then sony made the ps1 which was one of the best selling consoles of all time

  16. #16: Microsoft decides to trash Java for Minecraft in the future, which would bring Minecraft back to the Stone Age.

  17. Did anybody catch the fact that he said that "new coke" tasted fine???? Uhmmm, NO! It tasted horrible!!! I hated it, and so did everyone I knew! Seriously, I want to know what happened to that CEO!! How about JC Penny getting rid of coupons, and hiring the CEO from Apple to come in and basically CHANGE Everything to a store none of the loyal customers recognized as well as insulting us using terms like "re-educate the consumer" and "addicted to their coupons" No sales just a flat price. I haven't been back since.

  18. I do miss Block Buster. When I was a kid my family went there at least once a month some times at least once a week. Block Buster should have bought Netflix.

  19. No wonder decca records singed the rollomg stones without hearing a single demo they saw the opportunity the missed and did their best to keep the stones at decca

  20. a story i read in a book, "dumbest business decisions": Edison's father tried to make a deal with Western Union, the telegraph company, to make telephones, but they turned him down. so he founded his own company, American Telephone & Telegraph, better known as AT&T. a few years later, AT&T BOUGHT OUT western union!

  21. You missed one, Sony had a very profitable MMO called star wars galaxy but they decided to secretly completely change it to be
    like world of warcraft. Their sizable subscription base disappeared in months crippling the game until they finally pulled the plug.
    Greed was the issue, wow was making a ton of money so they tried to be wow and they failed hard.

  22. I miss Blockbuster and video stores in general, it's kind of karma though I suppose seeing as their initial success pretty much put paid to independent video shops.

  23. First I'm old enough to remember coke before "new" coke. New coke tasted like shit. It wasnt just emotional attachment that caused backlash. But sadly, even when they changed back to coke "classic" it wasn't as good as original, because they still went to a cheaper sweetener. These days, I prefer Pepsi to coke.

  24. I can remember drinking a few "new" cokes. To me, it was a weird type of experience. Not because it tasted funny, all I remember was it really didn't taste like anything. It just tasted like brown, sugary carbonated water. Was not impressed.

  25. Blockbuster should've taken their offer from Netflix. So that way Blockbuster still would've been in business. THAT'S DUMB ON THEIR PART.ha ha hah. SUCKS TO BE TTHHEEMM

  26. You can't really blame blockbuster for not buying Netflix, they had no idea how big it would become.

  27. When the New Coke came out, my wife and I hoarded several cases of "old" code. When the Coke Classic was released we compared the Classic taste to "just Coke." And compared. And compared. We even threw a small party for aficionado friends. Unanimously, "just Coke" was better compared to the new taste of "Coke Classic." Much better. Is the story of Coca-Cola misplacing the original recipe is just a urban legend? I guess we will never know — but the evidence … judge for yourself. We stopped drinking "Coke" to this day. Well, once a year we try a can, but, no, it is just not "just Coke." Not to us.

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