Historically Dumb: The Biggest Business Blunders in History

Mistakes are a part of life and as the saying goes, “you can always learn from your mistakes.” However, sometimes that’s not the case, especially if you’re running a multi-million-dollar business, one wrong move or slip-up can end up costing your business millions (or even billions) in missed revenue and even worse it can give your competitors an edge in the market.

Today, we will discuss the top ten business blunders that have gone down in history. Read on and try not to cringe.

Decca Record rejecting The Beatles

Imagine saying “no” to The Beatles, well … that’s exactly what Decca Records did in 1962.

Although it was one of their first auditions and it did bring out their nerves, The Beatles felt confident that they would land the record deal. However, Decca’s A&R Representative, Mike Smith made the terrible mistake of going in a different direction, instead signing a local band and declining The Beatles … who would later go on to become one of the “greatest bands of all time.”

The reason for Smith’s decision was he felt “guitar groups were on their way out,” but little did he know The Beatles would become a staple in the music scene, and would eventually start a cultural revolution. I am sure Decca Record’s had a hard time “letting this one be.”


“New Coke” did not satisfy customers

Sometimes change is a good thing … and sometimes it’s not, especially if you’re a dedicated Coca-Cola drinker.

In 1985, Coke unveiled a “New Coke” made from a different formula and let’s just say they shouldn’t have messed with the original 100-year old formula; fans were not happy with the new taste and this move was definitely not a step in the right direction. There was such outrage that Coke scrapped the “New Coke” plan and returned to the market with the original classic Coke. They quickly learned that you don’t mess with the die-hard fans of their product.

Blockbuster says no to Netflix

Oh, good old Blockbuster. Remember when you would head to the Blockbuster down the street and pick out a flick to watch with your friends on a Friday night — those were the days. But like with most things, change is constant, including our movie watching experience. Now, all we have to do is sign in to our Netflix account and can choose from hundreds of movies to watch.

But did you know back in 2000, Blockbuster had a chance to buy Netflix? And for only $50 million dollars! That’s enough to make any former employee cringe. How could they pass up such a deal?

Well unfortunately Blockbuster CEO John Antioco passed on the offer because he thought it was a “very small niche business.” Now at the time Netflix was only a “DVD mailing service” and I am sure Antioco didn’t think it was going to be as big as it is now, but I am sure he is still kicking himself.

Blockbuster, you’ll forever be in our hearts.

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