Everyone makes mistakes as humans but not everyone makes mistakes that costs billions of dollars! What makes the tech industry the most difficult industry in the world is the fact that you can’t predict the future. Everything changes so rapidly that the biggest players of the tech industry today may suddenly be out of business in few years time. So many tech companies do acquisitions that are plain stupid while others just let opportunities that will fetch billions of dollars slide away. Here are some of the funniest, mind blowing mistakes in the tech world that not only cost billions of dollars, millions of people also lost their jobs as a result of these costly mistakes of few powerful CEO’s.
1. The $93 billion mistake!
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Apple’s 3rd co-founder Ronald Wayne will probably go down as the biggest loser in modern history. He lost out big time! He founded Apple Inc. together with Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. However, he sold his own share of the company back to Steve Jobs and Wozniak for just $800 and later accepted $1,500 to forfeit any claims against Apple. Today Apple is the biggest company in the world with a net worth of over $900 billion according to fortune. If he has kept his shares of 10% in Apple Inc. He would have been worth well over $93 billion. I can’t imagine how his children and grandchildren would have felt upon hearing this tales by moonlight!
2. IBM giving Microsoft the software monopoly. Cost: $560 billion
This is definitely one of all time greatest business stories ever. When IBM started making computers, they failed to see the future. They thought the money was in the hardware not software, how wrong! So when IBM asked Microsoft to build an OS for them, Microsoft cleverly asked to keep the rights to the OS, IBM said ‘yeah, why not?’ Microsoft kept the rights to the windows operating system and licensed the software to other pc makers. Today, Microsoft is worth over $560 billion and is projected to be over $1 trillion by 2020 while Bill gates is worth over $90 billion. How depressing.
3. AOL and Time Warner merger disaster. Cost: About $200 billion
Lord have mercy. This deal has cemented it’s place in as the world’s biggest value destroying merger in history of mankind. At the time of the deal, AOL was worth around $200 billion. Today AOL is worth just $2 billion. The big question is, where’s the rest of the money? Poof! Blown away. Luckily Verizon has announced plans to buy the company for $4.4 billion dollars, everyone thinks it’s not worth the money.
4. Yahoo’s failure to buy Google. Cost: $100 billion.
Google desperately tried to sell itself to yahoo for just $3 billion many times back when yahoo was the biggest tech player in the world and most people thought search engines are not important. The deal never went through because yahoo was not innovative enough. Yahoo’s value has nosedived ever since and is just worth about $33 billion while Google’s value keeps skyrocketing. Even Nigerian yahoo boys hardly use yahoo! They’re using Facebook and Gmail. I think yahoo should just go back and sell itself to Google!
5. Yahoo’s failure to buy Facebook.
Hahaha! Looking at the long history of mistakes yahoo has made in the past 10 years, it’s easy to conclude that everything the company does is a mistake. Only few people knew that yahoo’s then CEO Terry Semel and Facebook CEO mark Zuckerberg shook hands on $1 billion for the transaction. Rumor has it that Zuckerberg raised his price at the last minute causing yahoo to back off. Nevertheless, Facebook is one of the biggest and most important companies on earth.
6. Microsoft phone deal with Nokia. A $10 billion mistake!
This deal should never have happened! When Microsoft bought Nokia in April 2014, the company said the deal would strengthen the company in so many ways. Guess what, it weakened the company, gulped billions of dollars and rendered thousands of workers jobless! Both companies actually lost out. While Microsoft lost their money and influence in the mobile phone industry, Nokia lost their top place as the biggest phone giant in the world as they failed to go the Android way. In 2015, Microsoft laid off 7,800 staff of Nokia accepting defeat in the smartphone industry. However Nokia is back with new owners and is warming its way back into the hearts of it’s loyal fans.
7. Yahoo buying broadcast.com for $5.7 billion. Terrible!
Yahoo again? Ladies and gentlemen, Yahoo has made one more appearance on our list. For those who don’t know, broadcast.com used to be the YouTube of it’s time. It’s was the top video streaming site. Yahoo bought the site for $5.7 billion hoping to revive it’s value but burnt their fingers instead. The problem was that back then, the internet was very slow, there were no wireless 3G or 4G networks so it was difficult for people even in the US to stream videos online. I think yahoo just had a big bad luck.
8. Kodak turning down the idea of a digital camera. Destroyed by its own invention!
Kodak would have been the first company to launch a digital camera way back in 1975, the company actually invented it. The management of the company laughed at their engineer who introduced the concept of the digital camera. Sadly in 2012 the company declared bankruptcy after failing to adopt the idea and go digital. Lack of innovation and failure to adapt to modern trends killed the company. Today, The camera industry is dominated by Canon and Nikon who are making billions of dollars in sales.
9. Google buying jaiku. Cost $2 billion dollars.
Jaiku was a very popular Micro blogging website just like Twitter. It was faster than Twitter and Google bought it to compete with Twitter. Suddenly, Google shut down the site. That’s $2 billion washed down the drain!
10. Google buying dodgeball. Cost: 1 billion dollars.
It’s okay to say that apart from yahoo, Google has also made its own fair share of mistakes. I don’t know what pushed Google to make this move but they actually did. The splashed a whopping $1 billion on this App then they shut it down. I guess it’s because they have so much money and can do whatever they like with it!