Worst Company Disasters! | Top 6 Blunders

Worst Company Disasters! | Top 6 Blunders

You are watching ColdFusion TV. Hi. Welcome to another ColdFusion video. In previous ColdFusion videos, we’ve often seen the success stories of some of the largest and most influential companies. But what about the other side? What about the blunders? missed opportunities, and utter disasters that in turn, brought some companies to ruin. Well today, you’re in luck, because here are six of such stories. let’s get straight into it. Number six: Kodak had the first digital camera back in 1977. Whenever technology changes the landscape of an industry, there are some businesses that adapt and thrive, And others that continue to do the same old thing, until it’s too late. For Kodak, who fell behind, due to the advent of the digital camera, the situation was a little different. Kodak actually patented the first digital camera back in 1977. It was one that used magnetic cassette to store images of about 100 kilobytes. However, Over the coming years, Kodak made so much money off of film, That they let the new technology gather dust, not realizing its potential. The company continued to focus on traditional film cameras Even it was clear that the market was moving towards digital. When Kodak finally gone to the digital market, They were selling cameras at a loss and still couldn’t make up enough sales to catch up to those competitors, which have seen the potential of digital cameras early on. Currently, Kodak is losing over two hundred million dollars a year. The lesson learned: In the world of business, always keep an eye on the market, and be responsive to future trends. if not, it cost you everything. Number five: Excite could have bought Google for less than one million dollars. The year is 1999, and Excite was the number two search engine, behind Yahoo. Google back then was a nobody. The new kid on the block. It was in this setting, back in ’99, That Larry Page, offered to sell Google to Excite for $750,000 according to Excite’s CEO at the time, George Bell, The $750,000 deal was 1% of Excite’s worth, So financing wasn’t an issue. The hiccup came when Larry insisted That if the sale went ahead, Excite was to replace all of its search technology with Google’s. George of Excite, thought that this was too much, and refused the offer. Excite was eventually bought by Ask Jeeves (now Ask.com) in 2004. At the time, Ask had less than 2% search market share. Google, currently now known as Alphabet processes a billion search results everyday. They currently have around $147 billion in assets, which is more than 196,000 times what Excite would have payed for them. Ouch. Number four: Blockbuster Video turns down the opportunity to buy Netflix. The mid-80s to late 90s, where when VHS was king. The problem back then, was that VHS tapes would cost upwards of $97 per movie. For this reason, video rental stores, like Blockbuster came in to fill in that gap. They were the perfect solution, and became a regular part of weekend plans for hundreds of millions around the globe. [Blockbuster Commercial] Eventually, online video streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu and even Putlocker destroyed the old video rental business model. Ironically, In the year 2000, Netflix proposed that it would handle Blockbuster’s online component and Blockbuster could host Netflix as an in-store component, thus eliminating the need to mail DVD’s, which was Netflix’s business model at the time. According to an interview with former Netflix CEO, Barry McCarthy Blockbuster just laughed Netflix out of their office. But, that’s not the end of their story. By 2007, Blockbuster was well on the right track. They had an internet movie component, that was steamrolling over Netflix. Netflix was struggling, and their upper management wanted to sell the company to blockbuster to save face. Blockbuster’s growth was very strong at the time, so they turned down the offer. In a strange twist later that year, there was a boardroom dispute over Blockbuster, that saw a change of CEO. The new CEO was James Keyes (formerly of Seven-Eleven) He came in with the wrong mindset, and thought that Blockbuster should be a retail business instead of an entertainment one. Because of this, He didn’t see the value of an online component. Huge mistake. Within eighteen months, The new CEO had lost Blockbuster 85% of the company’s value. And within three years, Blockbuster was filing for bankruptcy. Blockbuster went belly-up, and Netflix went on to thrive. Since then, Netflix is behind such original shows such as: House of Cards, BoJack Horseman, and Daredevil. With 83 million subscriptions worldwide, Netflix has altered the way many view the entertainment. Number three: A grade school math error cost NASA $125 million. Before the advent of Google, did you ever get frustrated with the conversions from feet to meters? Inches to centimeters? Did you find it difficult? Well, you’re in good company. As it turns out, a similar math problem hindered some of the greatest minds in the western world. In 1999, A Mars orbiter, that Lockheed-Martin designed for NASA was lost in space due to a simple math error, in where the engineers at Lockheed used Imperial measurements while the NASA employees used metric ones. The mismatch led to the thrusters not recieving vital navigation information, which caused the 125 million dollar spacecraft to malfunction. The probe was forever lost while trying to get into orbit around Mars after a 286-day journey. There were numerous occasions where the errors should have been caught, but, it wasn’t. Number two: Nokia outright refusing to use Android. Nokia. One of the most iconic brands of the 20th century and even up to the first decade of the 21st century. The company had about 51% market share on the mobile phone industry at their peak in 2007. But now, they’re a shell of their former selves. A fond, but distant memory for many. The start of the company’s fall from grace can be attributed to one moment in 2010, when Nokia CEO Anssi Vanjoki snobbed his nose up at the idea of using Google’s Android software. You see, at the time, Nokia had their own operating system called Symbian. After the release of the iPhone in 2007, the software development team at Nokia realized that there was a threat. So they split into two. One team tried to revamp Symbian, and the other team created an entirely new operating system named MeeGo. The problem was, that the two teams were battling for resources from Nokia’s top executives. So in essence, there was an internal struggle within the company. It was so bad, that whenever Nokia was dealing with outside stakeholders, like chip manufacturers for example, there was so much squabbling within the company, that it took the better part of the year to make a decision on anything. in the tech world, that’s way too long. Competitor innovation waits for no one. The logical solution, in hindsight of course, was Android. Nokia could have used the open software platform, combine it with their in-house hardware, to quickly make up for lost time, at minimal cost. Instead, Nokia CEO at the time decided to skip on Android, calling it a short term solution likening the move to, Quote: “Pissing in your pants in winter to keep warm.” Nokia kept on working on their own software efforts, throwing $5 billion a year of R&D at the problem, but no avail. As time went on, The iPhone and Android handsets dominated the market until Nokia’s mobile division was left in the dust. not long after this, in 2013, the Nokia division brand was salvaged by Microsoft for scraps. Microsoft couldn’t make the once legendary company stay afloat either, Wasting $8 billion before killing the Nokia mobile brand. Moral of the story, Move with innovation, and don’t let your pride cloud your judgement. But wait a second, there is a twist here. Nokia, the company from Finland, is said to be returning in 2016, after signing an exclusive agreement with HMD Global. HMD Global is a new company, also based in Finland. The deal will see the creation of Nokia brand mobile phones and tablets for the next 10 years. So, I’ll see how this one plays out. Number One: Xerox, yes the printer company hand one of the greatest inventions in computing history to Apple. Imagine having one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century in your hands and giving it away because you didn’t understand what you are holding. Xerox did just that with the Xerox Alto. The Xerox Alto was an experimental computer from 1973, created at Xerox’s Research Center. The Alto was way ahead of it’s time. It was the first modern desktop PC, as we recognize them today. It had a mouse, windows, file managers, and it can copy and paste, delete and move files, It had icons, menus, graphics, and even a Local Area Network, that connected all the computers together. The idea was to mimic an office desk, but on a screen. A paperless office of the future. Absolutely revolutionary for 1973. What the Xerox Alto was demonstrating was the first Graphical User Interface, or GUI, in a desktop computer. For those of you not familiar with this time in computing technology, This is how a typical computer from the late 1970s looked and functioned. Before GUI’s, to do absolutely anything to a computer you needed to type commands in lines of text. If you mistyped anything, that was too bad. The computer would just spit out an error, saying that it didn’t understand. Pointing and clicking on a graphical object was a foreign idea. Thousands of Xerox Alto’s were built at the Research Center, but never sold. Only used heavily in Xerox’s offices and at a few universities. The Xerox upper management did not understand what they had, the managers just couldn’t see, the vision of what the computer of the future will be. But, a man named Steve Jobs did know what the future of the computer could be. And Xerox handed it straight to him. Here’s how it went down: Xerox at the time, needed a way to make their experimental technologies, like the Alto cheaper. They saw Apple pumping out their Apple II’s for a cheap price. So in 1979, they invited Steve Jobs over to their research institute, to see if they could help reduce the cost of production. The deal saw Xerox gain a million shares of Apple’s stock In exchange for Steve Jobs was getting the inside information for everything cool and revolutionary that was going on at the PARC Center. Nobody actually checked with the guys at the research center, but the Apple Business Development Team signed off the deal anyway. The following is from Larry Lester, a Xerox Research Center scientist, and an eyewitness to when Steve Jobs was handed everything. Lester: So, during that demo… uh, Steve again got very excited, he was pacing around the room and occasionally looked at the screen. He was mostly just looking and then reacting, and taking it all in and trying to process it. And uh, and one point, he said you still not showing us everything. And the meeting paused, and there was some phone calls, and okay, we gonna show you more. But, Jobs was there going: “What is going on here? You’re sitting on a goldmine!” “Why aren’t you doing something with this technology?” “You could change the world!” And, There were his buddies, who would trying to, you know arrange a negotiation of some kind. We’re tying to quiet him down [audience laughs] Don’t be so excited. But he was, he was really clear to him that we were never really gonna do anything with this. Ah, the irony was when they left, we’d still showed them like 1% of what PARC was doing. But it was enough, that it got really excited and decided that they were gonna retarget the LISA to be something like what they seen in terms of GUI, they fell in love with the mouse, and uh, that changed everything. And 7 months after that, I was working at Apple. Jobs: And, within you know, ten minutes, It was obvious to me that all computers would work like this, someday. Basically, they were copier heads, and just had no clue about, uh a computer, what it can do. And so they just grabbed the feet from the greatest victory in the computer industry. Xerox could have owned the entire computer industry today. The graphical approach to the computer appealed to the human mind because commands were now replaced with movements and objects. So, it felt natural, Typing lines of text was now a thing of the past. The ideas from the Alto would heavily influence the Apple LISA, whose technology trickles down to the Macintosh, which influenced Microsoft Windows. Both of which, were the eventual ancestors to the manner in which our phones operate today. An the sad thing is Xerox never gets mention for any of this. Anyway, that’s the end of the video. Those were 6 huge blunders by some top companies. I hoped you liked it, give it a thumbs up if you did, subscribe if you are new to this channel, and this video was a lot of work, so i would appreciate it if you’d share this video with someone who would be interested. Also, as another point, If you guys would like to suggest videos, I’ve opened up the floor on my Patreon, So, if you are a Patreon, you can take part and suggesting what the next video’s gonna be. Thanks again guys, This has been Dagogo, you have been watching ColdFusion, and I’ll see you again soon next video. Cheers and have a good one. ColdFusion. It’s new thinking. – Captions mostly done by 81wsk


100 thoughts on “Worst Company Disasters! | Top 6 Blunders”

  • Can't all of these corporation failures be put down to one thing… the lack of vision, or inability to see past the one area of success, expertise or skill of the person that either put the company where it was, or was put in place having achieved similar success elsewhere.

    It's a familiar pattern and highlights how lucky and ridiculous ultimate business success is, not to mention it's as much luck on falling into creating the successful business plan or product, and importantly demonstrates how little ability and care these top executives have ultimately. You've got to admire their ability to take as much from these corporations as they can get their hands on. And why should they care about the corporation, its customers or its investors; they've achieved their highest possible position and success, so if or when they fail, mess up, don't recognise the changing environment of their industry, it's not a problem for them. They're rich and nothing can change that. Customers or clients of these corporations don't care either; they've bought, enjoyed and benefited from the product or service, and when one corporation dies, another always exists to replace it or provide a similar or even improved version of what they'd previously enjoyed elsewhere.

    The biggest irony is the people that genuinely suffer are the ones with excess finances that are desperate to increase their wealth and invest in these corporations. They're the people that essentially put these top executives in place, or change them, all for personal gain, and ultimately they're the only ones who lose. In short, so what, nobody cares, normal people don't lose or miss out, so long may corporation failure continue… I don't think anyone can deny that the replacement or emerging corporations satisfy consumers, so no one of real importance loses!

    What's interesting is how the examples in the video were essentially taken down by the changing face of technology. The only sad news in all this is the replacements take as much advantage of their customers, and equally become too powerful too. Long may corporations fail, and investors learn hard lessons!!!! Good riddance to the past, and the same goes for future corporations that fall in the exact same way.

    One day we'll be seeing the exact story about an extremely large and power publisher in the video game industry. But that's hardly a prediction, the same can be said of a corporation in every industry.

  • Each arguably an example of the Peter Principle — "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

  • Play-On7 Entertainment says:

    For me the biggest failure has got to be Penn Central. Formed in 1970, the company filed for bankruptcy in 1971.

  • the next video. how apple II e, a relic, still dominated the education market for ten years, from the late 80's well into the late 90's.

  • You missed Sprint, they had the opportunity to be Apples choice of carrier, I was there when senior execs flushed the company down the drain while lining their pockets with hundreds of millions.

  • "The eventual ancestors to the manner in which our phones operate today" – is Linux. Sadly Linux never gets mentioned for any of this…

  • So if blockbuster took the deal we wouldn't have to wait 3 5 days for a damn movie along with all archive movies from vhs to old video games like how can you pass that up lol….

  • Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. In 1979, a company that makes more microchips than Frito-Lay makes potato chips, introduces their computer which is the first home/personal computer with a full 16 bit processor. How could that possibly go wrong?

    In retrospect, Bill Cosby as the spokesman. But TI only knew how to sell to engineers, not to the general public. And TI used Apple's strategy of a closed system, vastly underestimating the birth of the hacker culture, hiding all details of how the system worked while Commodore published full system schematics of the C64 in the owner's manual. Had TI done things differently, it's possible we'd be using descendants of the TMS9900 CPU now, instead of the descendants of the Intel 8088.

  • those times sucked! I had a blockbuster card, those fools tried to charge me $200 for a vhs tape because it melted in my car dash lol. They didn't go out of business because they did not buy netflix, they just plain sucked. I can't believe the time I spent driving to that damn store, wasting an hour looking, driving back home, not watching it for 4 days then watched and forgot to rewind and then get popped with a late fee.. jeez.. Now.. "click" 🙂

  • Symbian was a great os, Nokia should’ve split 60-65% r&d for Symbian while remaining should’ve gone to android, egotistical CEO relying on data than spectacle of that time caused Nokia to crash & burn

  • Fast forward to 2019. APPLE is collapsing because of lack of innovation, APPLE became #3 this year , behind Chinese HUAWEI and of course Korean giant SAMSUNG. It wont take very long for APPLE to disappear because of their profit margin, only good for stock holders and not for buyers.

  • ThaManOf ThaHour says:

    Blockbuster was dope. Miss those days. Having to get there as early as possible after school to get the new release on friday nights.

  • I'd like to add A#### into the list. They ventured into condom production but somehow an employee forgot and thought they were making bottle nipples. The next year, their baby bottle sales went up 200%, but their condom sales went down to 0…

  • Yep Nokia returned with Android One OS. And I think they were right the first time. Android One is a dogs breakfast.

  • michael ratcliffe says:

    Xerox … All the rest of Shillicon Valley ripped them off. Amazing how a bright marketing Guy took
    someone else’s idea reinvented the World.

  • If the GUI was such a goldmine, why was Steve Jobs fired six years later, and Apple Computer basically broke by 1991? It wasn't until Windows 95 was a stable, mature product (1997 or so) that a Microsoft product could compare favorably to the ease of use of Apple.


    think he said it best and said it for all of us when he uttered: 10million tonnes of shit!!! you're shit!! or maybe it was you are shit…!!! either way he said it best…

  • Anyone remember the Neo Geo game system??? My friend worked all summer to get one. About a month later it was broke and the company shut down. He was soooo mad????

  • The deal where Google could've been bought for cheap seems like a missed opportunity….but if that company HAD bought Google, they probably would've run it into to ground as well, therefore not gaining anything. If Google had indeed gone down that pathway, there's no guarantee that it would be the monster company that it is today. So that one seems slightly misleading.

  • Ostyx - Music & Sound says:

    Xerox? Wasn't that a printer / paper company?
    Also it's the name of a dog i drew when i was a little kiddo.

  • I remember the local blockbuster and radioshack, now theres a dollar store and a pet store in their places. I remember having a Nokia as well, a brick wall of a phone. Oh my word. But most of us pronounce it No•key•ah, drives me nuts how you pronounce it hahaha

  • I miss block busters it was a time to go out with the fam and get movies and snacks it was a Mabry you cant get that from apps

  • Ovidiu Georgescu says:

    This clip contains loads of crap. Nokia was bankrupt by Stephen Elop which was a Microsoft plant . The same thing they did with Silicon Graphics.

  • Well hindsight is 50/50 . ………………………………………………………………….
    The feller at 11:50 was a fairly famous Canadian Comic . At that time .

  • The Human Condition says:

    Reminds me in a similar vein to the teacher that told Einstein as a boy he was too dumb to amount to anything , the film producer who dismissed Gene Kelly as dull but can "dance a little" and the record company that rejected the Beatles when they were looking to be signed to label! Just shows the world is full of idiots who make important decisions. I used to contract at Nokia and I did sense a stick-up-their-ass arrogance about their Symbian OS !

  • Its called cycle of life , humans hav a life span so do companies , eventually the biggest & the brightest will go out , the same will happen to Apple or Microsoft as it happened to Nokia , Motorola , RIM .. blackberry .. Iconics co's like Sears …. So too to our planet , the solar system will die out eventually , the cycle of life , new replaces the old .

  • Christopher Hutchinson says:

    Notable mention should be Gillette for losing £8 billion because of their “woke” advert ? get woke go broke

  • Android is a horrible model for customers. It took a sea change in how consumers relate to UI manipulation to make it viable. In that department, Apple changed the landscape with the iPhone "constantly upgrade" model, shortening consumers time horizon. It also took lots of tie-in agreements with the big cell network providers of the time. They had all watched AT&T win big with their deals with apple on the early I-Phones, so they were willing to do whatever it took to be part of that when Android hit the scene, including down-selling other OS based phones, including MS phones, Blackberry, and Palm phones. Saying they should have switched to Android in my book is an amateur hour case analysis. It should be noted, however, that Nokia's big problems started long before Android even hit the scene. They had the best candybar phone design ever for texting — the 6800 and E70. At a time when Blackberry was racking up $$$ with massive blob pager-looking things, Nokia had the Blackberry killer on tap. But they failed to execute where it counted. Regardless of the capabilities of the phone, either because they didn't train the networks and IT people, or because it didn't work right, you just could not get an IT manager to pass your work emails (which, at the time, were still mostly plain text, through to your Nokia phone. They would do it with a Blackberry, a Palm, and later an iPhone, but not a Nokia E70. They also totally failed to get the phone to suppliers. You had to basically go to the ONE Nokia store in the USA (Manhattan), and even then they couldn't tell you when they'd have any in stock. The E70 was such an awesome design that if they brought it back today, rather than the junky looking rainbow turd they're calling a "retro" phone, as a call/text/think client media streamer, they could compete favorably with a lot of smart phones.

  • Mr. A.T. Andrei Thomas says:

    FUCK OFF asshole, i disgrace, Nokia is not one of the Disasters companies out there. Nokia is in fact an awesome company and the godfarther of all phones that make fantastic innovations, phones and even smartphones today, they been around for years before apple and samsung JOIN the banwagon

  • There is more to the blockbuster story, a huge sum of money was taken out via a one time dividend that left the company a shell of its previous self. Just my 2 cents

  • 1973 had the computer that made wifi ideas and high speed internet wow tha fuck guys this invention have Patton on most invention now days so who ever they sold it to is a trillion air cause this is very high-tech of its time not to mention the father of apple ?????????????????????? one mans trash is another mans treasure

  • I've been feeling sorry for today's kids born into the digital age, but if this stuff was already happening in the early 70s when I was still a little kid myself, it seems I was also born into the digital age (of sorts), as other viewers have said re this clip, "mind blown"!

  • Zenbeach Traveler says:

    If my Motorola razor wasn't stolen from hostel in Malaysia back in those times, I'd still be proudly using it these days.

  • To add one more…Panasonic. Panasonic dominated early cell phones.

    For those of us old enough to remember Panasonic had been a big name in the 70s and 80's with televisions and Stereos and the advent of personal cell phones in the early 90s was just what they needed to rescue their name from obscurity as Imports at a lower cost and better quality started flooding the stereo/tv markets.

    The very first cell phones were all analog and Panasonic's name was on almost all of them!

    The engineers a Panasonic realized you could do so much more with digital. They realized you could send text and even very revolutionary… pictures! They took this to the vice president of engineering and he shot it down.

    Panasonic remained analog and got eaten alive.

  • Missed a few.  Here are two:  1) GEnie (part of GE) was one of the first large internet service providers back in the 1980's, with about 1/3 of the market, and arguably the most user-friendly of what was available at the time.  (Compuserve was larger, but not consumer friendly)  This is before Prodigy, AOL and others.  I don't think GE ever really supported their ISP service and I never saw any speeds available beyond 4800 baud.  GE could have made many billion$ had they supported GEnie.  Their failure made room for AOL.  2) The AOL/Time Warner merger.  The two corporate boards just couldn't work with each other.  AOL had the distribution network and membership numbers, and Time Warner had the content, with over 10k owned movie titles and 10's of thousands of music titles the new corporation would have been the online movie and music provider years before Blockbuster or Netflix.  Again, many billion$ lost (including my own investments of several thousand $).

  • BestBuy – always same product. No custom computers
    Macs – Angry Employees.
    Home Depot – Lack of services and Worst Home Delivery Company. I prefer their own delivery company than some companies -> Reason: Stupid Quebec Delivery Company.

  • It's funny how alot of these problems all share the same theme of not thinking about the future and having a conservative mindset.

    Also want to throw in Nintendo's blunder during the mid-90s when they could've collaborated with Sony on a new console with CD technology. Instead they stuck with cartridges and in turn not only created their biggest competitor in the industry, but also lost some third party support for their N64 console from companies like Square, which created the Final Fantasy series. And what do they have to show for it? The CD-I games.

  • Just saying Nokia did loose a lot on the phone market. But they are extremely advanced in Technical solutions and are one of the leading companies in implementing 5G

  • just because excite could of bought google doesn't mean that after they bought it they would of done the same strategy of google today. They probably would of bought it and use some of the tech and threw it on the back burner.

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