These dead-wrong determinations seemed like reasonable choices to somebody at some point. But time has exposed them as mammoth mistakes.
“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes,” Oscar Wilde wrote. And so it can be said that business history has endured some tremendously embarrassing and shortsighted experiences.
At one point, a Texas tycoon looking to buy a software company decided that a young Bill Gates was asking too much for his startup, Microsoft.
In London, an experienced music executive felt that four young men from Liverpool, England, weren’t worth his record label’s financial backing.
Ten years ago, the chiefs of two major media companies thought their fortunes would be richer if they merged their operations. They could not have orchestrated a bigger flop if they had tried.