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Stupid Business Decisions

Some bad calls will never be forgotten.

Stupid Business Decisions Ever“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes,” said Oscar Wilde. And so it can be said that business history has endured some tremendously embarrassing and short-sighted 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 start-up, Microsoft.

In London, an experienced music executive felt that four boys from Liverpool were not worth his label’s financial backing.

Ten years ago, the chiefs of two major media companies thought their fortunes would be richer if only they could merge their operations. They couldn't have orchestrated a bigger, er, experience, if they had tried.

Click on a story below to read about these corporate missteps and other business decisions that proved to be stunningly ill-considered.

Rejecting The Beatles
One British record executive thought the group had "no future."
by Jarrod Dicker

Excite Rejects Google's Asking Price
A $750,000 price tag was deemed too high.
By Justin Rohrlich

Ross Perot Turns Down Microsoft Buy
Believe it or not, Stockdale wasn't his worst call.
by Mike Schuster

ABC Passes on "The Cosby Show"
The company's producers thought television comedy was dead.
By Joseph Tauke

Drake Neglects to Patent Oil Drill
He taught the world how to extract the fuel, then watched everyone else get rich.
By Megan Barnett

Apple Fires Steve Jobs
With the co-founder gone, the company's culture -- and its business -- started to rot.
By Justin Rohrlich

Time Warner Merges With AOL
The disastrous deal should pass into history "like the Vietnam War."
By Ryan Goldberg

Dubai Builds World's Tallest Building

The tower's grand opening followed a debt crisis that rocked world markets.
By Ryan Goldberg

Corporate America Says "No" to Email
One major bank told a pioneering developer that Post-it notes would do just fine, thanks.
By Lisa LaMotta
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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