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(Business Insider)   The 10 worst business decisions in tech history   (businessinsider.com) divider line 177
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18243 clicks; posted to Business » on 01 Apr 2013 at 9:44 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-01 07:51:09 PM
How about that time Drew sold out to UPROXX?
 
2013-04-01 07:55:10 PM
For some reason, Nintendo's decision to tell Sony to get stuffed and cancel the PlayStation add-on for the Super Nintendo the day before it was going to be publicly revealed, and announcing a partnership with Phillips to create an add-on called the CD-i instead, is absent from the list.
 
2013-04-01 08:04:00 PM
Kodak failing to respond to digital photography?
 
2013-04-01 08:05:40 PM
no apple firing steve jobs?
 
2013-04-01 08:07:13 PM
Selling DOS to Microsoft?
 
2013-04-01 08:10:32 PM
What, no Carly Fiorina's HP buying Compaq and ramming it into the ground?

RIP DEC
 
2013-04-01 08:11:28 PM
I realize that Apple is a pretty big and important company, but I don't see the need for Apple to dominate 1/3 of the list.
 
2013-04-01 08:16:01 PM

Featured Farker: How about that time Drew sold out to UPROXX?


So you were not here for Fark TV?
 
2013-04-01 08:19:49 PM
I was hoping Groupon would get mentioned. I think everyone but Mason realized that Groupon was worth less than $6 billion, especially with all the clones out there.
 
2013-04-01 08:35:55 PM

King Something: For some reason, Nintendo's decision to tell Sony to get stuffed and cancel the PlayStation add-on for the Super Nintendo the day before it was going to be publicly revealed, and announcing a partnership with Phillips to create an add-on called the CD-i instead, is absent from the list.


This..

Gig103: I was hoping Groupon would get mentioned. I think everyone but Mason realized that Groupon was worth less than $6 billion, especially with all the clones out there.


I don't think groupon could sell to google.  Since they weren't public, they didn't have to show anyone their books.  Google would have figured out they weren't a good investment after looking at their books as part of the purchase.
 
2013-04-01 08:42:26 PM

toddalmighty: Kodak failing to respond to digital photography?


Worse than this; Polaroid inventing digital photography and then saying "naw, do not want".
 
2013-04-01 08:49:03 PM

toddalmighty: Kodak failing to respond to digital photography?


My first digital camera was a Kodak.
 
2013-04-01 08:50:49 PM
No mention for HP buying EDS for 12 billion and writing down 8 billion of that?
 
2013-04-01 09:10:16 PM

labman: King Something: For some reason, Nintendo's decision to tell Sony to get stuffed and cancel the PlayStation add-on for the Super Nintendo the day before it was going to be publicly revealed, and announcing a partnership with Phillips to create an add-on called the CD-i instead, is absent from the list.

This..Gig103: I was hoping Groupon would get mentioned. I think everyone but Mason realized that Groupon was worth less than $6 billion, especially with all the clones out there.

I don't think groupon could sell to google.  Since they weren't public, they didn't have to show anyone their books.  Google would have figured out they weren't a good investment after looking at their books as part of the purchase.


IIRC, Google did just that.  It was all smiles and feel-good until Google asked for the books and Groupon said, "Um, yeah... about that..."  Once they handed over the books, Google ran screaming in the other direction.

That's how I rememebr it, at any rate.
 
2013-04-01 09:10:35 PM
A lot of these seem to be "Too stupid to accept a lot of money from someone even more stupid who wanted to pay you lots of money for your stupid company".
 
2013-04-01 09:24:28 PM

Ghastly: A lot of these seem to be "Too stupid to accept a lot of money from someone even more stupid who wanted to pay you lots of money for your stupid company".


Also: "This idiot couldn't see the future we all now know and walked away from billions of dollars back when it was merely tens of dollars. THE FOOL!"
 
2013-04-01 09:46:53 PM
HP passing on the original Apple computer (which they could have had because they had first rights to anything Steve Wozniak, who was working for them at the time) was pretty understandable, because the Apple I, like most personal computers at the time, couldn't really do anything.  Even Woz thought it wouldn't really sell.

Now Xerox, a few years later, saying "Ah, this 'mouse' thing we invented, I don't see how you're going to use this on a copier, just let those Apple guys have it" was a far worse fark-up.
 
2013-04-01 09:49:15 PM

Shostie: Ghastly: A lot of these seem to be "Too stupid to accept a lot of money from someone even more stupid who wanted to pay you lots of money for your stupid company".

Also: "This idiot couldn't see the future we all now know and walked away from billions of dollars back when it was merely tens of dollars. THE FOOL!"


So if i keep holding onto my pets.com stock i'll be worth billions in the future right?
 
2013-04-01 09:58:31 PM
Most of those were investment flubs, not tech flubs.  Writer should go back and deliver the article promised.
 
2013-04-01 09:58:33 PM

jake_lex: HP passing on the original Apple computer (which they could have had because they had first rights to anything Steve Wozniak, who was working for them at the time) was pretty understandable, because the Apple I, like most personal computers at the time, couldn't really do anything.  Even Woz thought it wouldn't really sell.

Now Xerox, a few years later, saying "Ah, this 'mouse' thing we invented, I don't see how you're going to use this on a copier, just let those Apple guys have it" was a far worse fark-up.


Kodak turning down what became the Xerox machine was a pretty worse fark-up.
 
2013-04-01 09:59:20 PM
Does the AOL Time-Warner merger count?

If only Ted had succeeded http://www.theonion.com/articles/ted-turner-sends-self-back-in-time-t o -prevent-aol,141/
 
2013-04-01 10:01:08 PM
Anyone else get the feeling like the author is probably in their 20s and tried to make it a full out worst decisions related to apple list but ran out of ideas and has no ability to use google. then proceeded to try to make it a facebook and apply list but just couldn't get to the end.

If they bothered to know anything about tech in the last 20 years let alone 30 .. the list would be SEVERLY different.
 
2013-04-01 10:01:44 PM
The City of Port Angeles, WA not wanting to listen to me back in 1995 when I had an idea for transforming the paper making industry because the idea involved dumping raw sewage into Sequim Bay.

Both towns are still poor
 
2013-04-01 10:01:53 PM

Mega Steve: Does the AOL Time-Warner merger count?

If only Ted had succeeded http://www.theonion.com/articles/ted-turner-sends-self-back-in-time-t o -prevent-aol,141/


Came here to say this.

What a stupid f*cking article.
 
2013-04-01 10:03:11 PM

Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Most of those were investment flubs, not tech flubs.  Writer should go back and deliver the article promised.


Google Q
Microsoft Kin
Murdoch buying Myspace
Feel free to add yours from the last ten years
 
2013-04-01 10:03:24 PM
Not to be too grim about it, but Steve Jobs deciding to fight cancer with a vegan diet and vitamin pills for 2 years has gotta rank up there.
 
2013-04-01 10:06:42 PM
They missed the one where IBM unbundled software from hardware.
Eeejits completely changed the business model.
 
2013-04-01 10:11:53 PM
At best, those are 2-11.  #1 Will always be Microsoft deciding to screw the developer community and make the Metro UI available only as part of a walled garden- and sacrificing Silverlight to make it virtually impossible for any sort of write-once-run-anywhere (except iOS which doesn't count because it sucks) code to exist unless you embrace the shiat-fest that is HTML5+Javascript?
 
2013-04-01 10:13:26 PM
A lot of these sound a lot like the family legend about my great-grandpa Froehlich, who according to the legend turned down Henry Ford's offer of a 50% stake in what became Ford Motors and instead lost most of his money investing in a gold mine that never produced anything.

I've always thought that legend was too fantastic to be true.
 
2013-04-01 10:14:21 PM

drjekel_mrhyde: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Most of those were investment flubs, not tech flubs.  Writer should go back and deliver the article promised.

Google Q
Microsoft Kin
Murdoch buying Myspace
Feel free to add yours from the last ten years


Sprint/Nextel
 
2013-04-01 10:14:48 PM
HP deserves far more than one entry on this list.
 
2013-04-01 10:15:13 PM

Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Most of those were investment flubs, not tech flubs.  Writer should go back and deliver the article promised.

 
2013-04-01 10:16:55 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-04-01 10:17:38 PM

jake_lex: Now Xerox, a few years later, saying "Ah, this 'mouse' thing we invented, I don't see how you're going to use this on a copier, just let those Apple guys have it" was a far worse fark-up.


Considering what came out of Xerox PARC, Xerox could have owned the entire computer industry.

For example:
The mouse
The graphical user interface
Ethernet
Laser printers
Object-oriented programming

The computer industry would not be where it is today with PARC and Xerox managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.
 
2013-04-01 10:19:57 PM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-04-01 10:21:20 PM
I predict that down the road one of these yearly rehashed lists will contain the words "all our proprietary information and infrastructure" and "the cloud".
 
2013-04-01 10:22:55 PM

FlashHarry: no apple firing steve jobs?


Apple firing Steve Jobs was a very important moment in tech history, because all the critical things came out of it:

1. Steve founded NeXT, which developed the OS that eventually became the foundation for OS X and iOS.
2. One of those NeXt cubes made its way to CERN, where Tim Berners-Less used it to create the WWW protocol.
3. Steve Jobs invests in Pixar during its early days and helped eep the company afloat during a time when they might have gone under without help

Had Steve not been fired from Apple, the last 20 years may have turned out VERY different.
 
2013-04-01 10:28:24 PM

tillerman35: shiat-fest that is HTML5+Javascript


ohhemad.jpg
 
2013-04-01 10:28:25 PM

Ghastly: toddalmighty: Kodak failing to respond to digital photography?

Worse than this; Polaroid inventing digital photography and then saying "naw, do not want".


I worked for Polaroid at the time in their Electronic Imaging Systems department.   The compelling argument against this new-fangled Digital Photography was that it didn't use film, therefore the higher-ups couldn't see how it would make money.  SO we hacked up things like the film printer, which would take yer actual digital photograph and "print it" on Polaroid film which you then pulled, shook and wiped (oooh, nurse!) in the usual way.

To be fair, at the time (mid 80s or so), there was no affordable printer capable of generating hard-copy color prints, and computer memory/disc memory was wicked expensive.  Indeed, the prototype Polaroid Digital Camera which I held had a small hard drive to hold a few images, and a SCSI connection to get the pictures off it.

Mind you, prior to that I was at DEC, a mini-computer manufacturer that completely missed the PC marketplace (home or business)...   maybe it's me.
 
2013-04-01 10:29:57 PM
None of these are the worst business decisions in tech history.  These are some bad investment decisions.  And not even remotely close to the worst ones.

/subby sucks
 
2013-04-01 10:30:10 PM

BumpInTheNight: "the cloud".


I only trust my music to the cloud. No idea why people trust it the way they do, except for the price. Short-term thinking.
 
2013-04-01 10:31:14 PM

dustman81: jake_lex: Now Xerox, a few years later, saying "Ah, this 'mouse' thing we invented, I don't see how you're going to use this on a copier, just let those Apple guys have it" was a far worse fark-up.

Considering what came out of Xerox PARC, Xerox could have owned the entire computer industry.

For example:
The mouse
The graphical user interface
Ethernet
Laser printers
Object-oriented programming

The computer industry would not be where it is today with PARC and Xerox managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.


Just proves that execution matters.  And Xerox did get stock in Apple for the GUI and mouse.
 
2013-04-01 10:38:49 PM
This list is terrible

No AOL/TimeWarner?
 
2013-04-01 10:41:25 PM

Mega Steve: Does the AOL Time-Warner merger count?

If only Ted had succeeded http://www.theonion.com/articles/ted-turner-sends-self-back-in-time-t o -prevent-aol,141/


That was a buyout, not a merger of equals.  AOL bought TWX.  While the stock tanked in the dot-com bust, think how much *worse* AOL would have dropped, if they didn't have TWX 's no-shiat assets to buoy the stock price?  In the end, AOL survived and is a profitable company.

AOL's ultimate failing was hubris.  The first 2000 employees won the lottery, thought they were kings of the Earth, and nothing they could do would fail.  They hung on to the dial-up/client model and were overtaken by the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.  AOL had the membership, but kept feeding them the same client-bound features.  By the time AOL realized dialup and the client were dead-end products, it was too late to correct course.

The lottery-winners at AOL thought their shiat didn't stink and the stock price will always rise.  You could challenge a stupid idea in a meeting and get met with, "I'm a millionaire, so I'm right.  fark you.  Where's your million-dollar idea?"   I was at a meeting with a partner in the early 2000's where an AOL Executive VP told the partner their idea was good, but lacked scope.  They'd never have more than 100K users.  They should trust AOL, because they had 20M users.  That company was TiVo.  200 people stared daggers through an asshole in a suit.  That was the first time I'd encountered true executive douche-baggery.

/csb
 
2013-04-01 10:43:02 PM
List fails without mentioning Tesla's forfeiture of his contract with Westinghouse. If he had kept/enforced them, he would have been richer than all the people in the article combined.
 
2013-04-01 10:46:59 PM

Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Most of those were investment flubs, not tech flubs.  Writer should go back and deliver the article promised.


This
 
2013-04-01 10:49:04 PM

NewportBarGuy: BumpInTheNight: "the cloud".

I only trust my music to the cloud. No idea why people trust it the way they do, except for the price. Short-term thinking.


Not being a luddite?
 
2013-04-01 10:49:47 PM
 
2013-04-01 10:51:35 PM

Nadie_AZ: What, no Carly Fiorina's HP buying Compaq and ramming it into the ground?

RIP DEC


Carly needs to find a house in North West Houston, I can find some real cheap one for her

You can see the effect that HP pulling out of that area has had, where nicer stores were are empty shopping centers and discount grocers

it's starting to come back because there's a large amount of engineering firms moving that way
 
2013-04-01 10:53:17 PM

dustman81: jake_lex: Now Xerox, a few years later, saying "Ah, this 'mouse' thing we invented, I don't see how you're going to use this on a copier, just let those Apple guys have it" was a far worse fark-up.

Considering what came out of Xerox PARC, Xerox could have owned the entire computer industry.

For example:
The mouse
The graphical user interface
Ethernet
Laser printers
Object-oriented programming

The computer industry would not be where it is today with PARC and Xerox managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.


Xerox executive: So guys, why don't you show me what you've been working on with all this money we've been sending you.
Xerox researcher: It's great! We've got this whole system we call the "paperless office." You'll never need to make a physical copy of a document again! No more paper! No more copiers!

*crickets*

Xerox executive: ...wait, you did WHAT?!
 
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