Case Study: 10 Regrettable Decisions In Business

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Headline: 10 regrettable decisions in business history
Who could have predicted Star Wars to make box office history? And did anyone ever imagine Google to become the world-dominating tech goliath? It's tempting to wonder how the unfortunate corporate giants lack open-mindedness and stubbornly turn down a promising offer. Here are 10 most expensive business decisions which will continue to be ridiculed for years to come.
1. Western Union
In 1876, William Orten, the President of Western Union, was offered a $100,000 patent on a new invention, the telephone. He ridiculed the whole idea, and wrote to Alexander Graham Bell, scoffing that the telephone is an electrical toy with no commercial possibilities. Two years later, when telephone witnessed an immense success, Orten realised the enormity of his mistake, and spent years challenging Bell's patents.
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In the 90s, search engines were rare. Back in 1999, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin approached Excite to sell their company for $750,000. Excite CEO George Bell turned the offer down calling Google an untested bundle of algorithms. Unfortunately for Excite, Google is presently valued at $170 billion, earning 60 billion dollars annually.
7. Time Warner
In 2000, Gerald Levin, the Time Warner chairman, made a merger deal with America Online (AOL), and decided not to place a collar on the transaction. Collar enables a seller to revisit the transaction terms if the buyer's stock drops below a definite price. Even before the merger was completed, the Internet bubble burst, AOL shares plummeted 50%. Without a collar, Time Warner couldn't renegotiate the deal and the shareholders suffered for his stubbornness.
8. Motorola
Motorola was a pioneer in the cell phone business. However, their lack of initiative delayed their release of a smart phone and by that time iPhone and BlackBerry had already started competing severely in sales. The company's revenues, shares, and the market share fell sharply by 2009.

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