People Award Corporate Darwin Awards, Celebrating Decisions That Tanked A Business
Running a company is hard. There are a lot of decisions that have to be made to make sure everything keeps running smoothly. However, sometimes companies choose to do things that anyone looking on could tell them will go horribly wrong.
Reddit user koyoyele-a asked:
What had been the best corporate Darwin award? A decision made by a company that basically killed it the business?
Hubris Doesn't Help Anyone
Lifelock's advertisements with the co-founder Todd Davis SSN on the sides of trucks and on TV - telling people to try and steal his identity, because Lifelock was protecting him.
Don't antagonise the internet. The did steal his identity. Thirteen times. Within 2 years. He lost millions of dollars. Also, his identity was stolen so much, the FTC ended up fining the company $12 million for deceptive advertising because they weren't 100% effective like the ads claimed.
After that, the company kept getting fined and sued. It's still around, but nowhere close to the strength it was.
Branding Is Important
Home Grocer started a grocery delivery service that had a colorful peach logo on their delivery vans. They were an early concept but starting to take off. Then they were bought by a company that changed the name to Webvan and changed to logo to a shitty W. So, that company bought a brand that had gained strong recognition and immediately killed it. What were they thinking? Webvan, of course went under.
In the UK we say "Hoover" instead of "Vacuum Cleaner". There's a point in every Brits life where they learn that Hoover is actually a brand name.
They had a complete monopoly over vacuum cleaners in the UK, could do whatever they wanted. Then they decided to do some insane special offer giving away plane tickets with hoover purchases. So people started buying them for the plane tickets, then giving away/binning/selling dirt cheap the hoover they didn't need. Hoover couldnt afford the plane tickets and tried to duck out of it. The courts made them give the plane tickets they promised.
Now hoovers are so unheard of that people don't even realise it's a brand but use the word synonymously for vacuum cleaner. If that's not a business Darwin award then nothing is.
Too Set In Their Ways
AOL was the gateway to the internet, complete with Discord analog, messaging, email, and search. When they decided to stick to dialup and refused to become a broadband ISP; they killed themselves. They had a huge contented user base and threw it all away.
Yahoo Strikes Again
Flickr was a great photo display site that I used to log into several times a day. It had a quite simple, usable interface with a lot of white space so that photos could stand out by themselves. It was great if you were a hobbyist photographer. You could get inspiration, try things out, post them, and get almost immediate feedback from other users.
Then they changed it into a real mess. As soon as you opened a page, the site tried to cram it with as many pictures as possible - all without context or titles. I keep an RSS feed so that I can watch out for new pictures from photographers I've followed. It hasn't changed in months. I haven't been on the actual site in months.
Yahoo has such a talent for killing the companies it buys haha. Flickr is one. Then Tumblr, which they just destroyed this month.
Wang Computers. The had, early in the late 70's a solid, well respected office automation system. It was multi-user, fast and reliable. The suite included a database, spreadsheet and word processor and other utilities and was bulletproof. They jealously guarded it, not letting anyone write software for it or allowing licensing. Guess what? Microsoft and IBM came in with MS-DOS, licensing the operating system and allowing literally anyone to write software for it. Wang tanked. It was a perfect storm. i loved that system and used it in the Army Reserves in the 80's and early 90's. Then the system just went away and we had IBM PC clones.
The Internet Is For... Well...Y'know
I worked for a mom and pop computer repair shop in the late 90s. We also had a dial up internet service, back when that was a legitimate thing. The only other option in the area was a sh!tbag telecom that would literally charge long distance phone call charges for calling someone directly across the street, because, "It's a different district, you understand."
So we were making money hand over fist.
Problem is, the "Mom and Dad" of the organization are also super religious. The interwebs are in their formative years, so Mom and Pop are going to make a statement. They hire up an agency that blacklists any and all porn sites they can find. That's right, an internet provider that says, "I don't care what your beliefs are, I don't care what your desires are, you can't visit porn sites. End all."
So for the next couple of weeks, we got every possible persona you can imagine coming in and telling us to f off, they quit.
Sleaze bags making excuses, to soccer moms saying straight up, "It's because of the porn filter with their kids in tow." and everything in between.
We went from 40k customers to less than 3k within a month. I got laid off because 1 repair technician was no longer affordable.
Osborne computers announced their improved new computer too early. Everyone stopped buying the current one. It took so long for the new one to be released that the company had basically folded.
Mattresses Are Not An Impulse Buy
Mattress Firm decided to put stores on every corner. You don't pick up a mattress on your way home for work like you'd pick up a coffee, so there's no reason to have so many locations. All of the rent they had to pay caught up with them, they declared bankruptcy.
Ratners Jewelers in the UK was almost destroyed by its own CEO who in an after dinner speech called his own products "crap". The value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million, they closed 350+ stores and it very nearly resulted in the firm's collapse.
Life hacks that make adulting easier and more fun are constantly trending on social media, but these hacks do not typically focus on safety.
The irony is that, while knowing how to organize our cabinets more efficiently is great, it will not save someone's life.
Redditor Tsukuyomi_Enhancer asked:
"What's a life-saving tip you think everyone should know?"
Memorize "Ah ah ah ah... Staying alive..."
"CPR should be done hard enough that you break ribs and done to the same tempo as 'Staying Alive.'"
"It's also important to note that CPR will very very rarely bring someone back to life like in movies. The purpose of it is to keep the blood and oxygen flowing enough that when professionals arrive they will be able to revive the person with minimal brain damage."
Stop Driving Tired
"Driving tired is just as dangerous as driving drunk. I got up at 4 AM to make a 7 AM flight from Toronto to LA, but I got bumped, and routed via Vancouver instead. Instead of getting into LA at 11 AM local time, I ended up getting in at 4 PM, and hit a massive traffic jam heading south."
"This was before cell phones so I had no traffic info that I understood, and I just stayed on the highway. By the time I turned off the highway, I'd been up for 20 hours. I could feel my head falling as I micro napped and jerked awake, but I had only a few miles to go, so I kept going."
"Bad move. Another micronap, crossed the median, and hit another car. Just a broken foot for me, and a few bruises for her, but it could have been much much worse."
"If you're that tired, pull off and sleep."
This Should Be Basic Knowledge
"Take care of your oral hygiene."
"Ask for help when you need it. If you don't get it, ask someone else."
Avoid the Bystander Effect
"If you ever need someone to call 911, make sure you specifically point someone out of the crowd of people. 'You in the red shirt, call 911.' If you don't, nobody will, because they assume someone else will."
Know the Bear Rhyme
"If you come into contact with bears, there is a rhyme. 'If it's black, fight back. If it's brown, lie down. If it's white, say good night.'"
"In the case of black bears, they're generally smaller. If one is attacking you, then you have a chance of survival by fighting back. You'll probably be in awful shape, but you'll live."
"In the case of a brown bear, it's best to show it that you are not a threat to it or its cubs. Lie down, and protect your neck and head. Make sure it's gone before getting back up."
"In the case of polar bears, things are very different. If you notice a polar bear hunting you, then it's already too late. Make peace with your gods because you are going to die."
These Are Not Just for Training Purposes
"If someone is drowning do not dive in to save them, throw something that floats."
"If you suspect someone is being shocked by electricity, use wood or rubber or anything non-conductive to help break their contact with the energy."
"If someone is breathing and knocked out or fainted, or blacked out from drugs, turn them on their side to avoid the risk they might drown in their own vomit."
"If some people are working overhead, with fall arrest systems, have a game plan to get them down if they fall. FAS has a time limit before the constriction on their legs risks permanent damage or death."
"If someone is buried alive from a tench collapse, you need to unbury them all the way, because of the pressure on their body. Especially their legs."
"Confined Spaces contain invisible, senseless death. It can be any heavy gas in there, stay out."
"Small falls kill."
"And one thing I tell the kids I train, 'You gotta be smart if you want to be dumb.'"
Know These Heart Attack Symptoms
"Heart attack pain for women is often different than men. The classic symptoms of chest pains radiating down your left arm isn’t what most women feel."
"It’s often a chest tightness, horrible gastric reflux feeling, and an impending sense of doom. It’s also described as the worst pain you’ve ever felt and women don’t go to the dr for it because 'childbirth was worse,' etc."
"So women, don’t ignore any sort of tightness, pressure, or twinges in your chest."
No Signal? Try Anyway.
"In the US, by law, every cell tower has to receive and connect 911 calls. It’s entirely possible that your cellphone says 'no signal,' because you’re not in range of your specific network and you have roaming turned off, but if needed you could call 911 without any issue at all."
Prepare Your Vehicle
"If you live in an area of extreme temps, keep stuff in your car in case you break down and can't get help immediately."
"For any temp, keep water and high-density food such as protein bars."
"For cold, keep a sleeping bag or blanket."
"For heat, keep more water and something to make shade."
Trust Your Gut
"An obvious and simple one, but it's saved me on numerous occasions."
"Trust your instincts and your gut when it says, 'Don't do it,' or 'Something doesn't feel right.'"
"We sometimes forget to trust ourselves."
Immediately Seek Out the E.R. for These
"If your vomit ever looks like coffee grounds, you are bleeding internally and need to go to the ER immediately."
"Sorry to be gross, but if your poop is black, thin, and sticky, go immediately to get help."
Be Aware of Other Forms of Fire
"If you smell fish in your house, it could be the start of an electrical fire."
The Coughing Shouldn't Stop
"Choking is silent. All a choking person can do to signal distress is a sign for it."
Please Learn How to Swim
"Knowing how to swim."
"I find it disgusting that there are adults who still try to defend, not being able to swim. They say things like 'maybe they grew up in the desert,' or 'maybe they’re scared.' But they always expect someone else to risk their life to save them."
"Quite often, they panic so badly and attempt to drown their rescuer so much that they have to be punched in the face until they’re unconscious to be dragged back to the shore."
"This is all because they needed to try riding a JetSki while on vacation and life vests are uncomfortable, so they took it off. It’s all just selfish entitlement."
"Source: spent my teen years and early twenties as a lake lifeguard."
Basic Human Decency
"Maybe not directly saving your life or a life, but being kind of at least giving respect to everyone you wind up meeting. Of course, not everyone is going to get along and some people are going to cause you problems, but at least being a decent human being is going to get you much further in life."
"It's because the world, while big, is smaller than you might think. The person you bumped into on the street could be the barista you wind up getting served by when you go to Starbucks, that nurse you saw during your doctor visit could have a child in the same daycare as yours, and your tax guy could wind up talking you up in a bar."
"As ridiculous as that sounds, meeting people you've only briefly met before happens all the godd**n time."
"Being a good person, or even being a decent person, nets you great connections when you choose to use them. That barista could possibly give you a discount or even recommend a cheaper drink if you were polite about the bump in the street; that nurse could give you great tips for your child's health when you meet again at that daycare, and you could have a great friend that can teach you all of the taxes when you see each other at that bar."
"But the most important note, you have to be willing to do the same for them. If you're able to help those, they'll help you, and that CAN save your life, or at the very least really enrich it."
These honestly are all fairly basic concepts that everyone should know but often do not.
And that very last one is just the sign of being a good human, but when you're willing to help someone, they're much more inclined to help you in return by calling 9-1-1 or giving you a ride home after a party, which really could save you at some point.
The Dumbest Things Patients Have Ever Tried To Lie To Their Doctors About
Going to the doctor or dentist is one of those maintenance tasks that we all have do but which some people are incredibly uncomfortable with.
In an effort to make the experience go more smoothly, some patients will lie about their healthy habits or positive oral care.
But it's more obvious to doctors and dentists that their patient is lying than it might seem.
Redditor KyeLindsay asked:
"Surgeons and Doctors of Reddit, what's the dumbest thing your patients have lied about?"
Self-Sabotage at Its Finest
"A guy comes in, between 17-19 years old for 'pebble hits penis.' Pretty odd. He says he was doing yard work when the tool knocked a Pebble into his penis, he went to check it, and now it was making pus."
"The nurse clarified that he was wearing pants. Denies sexual history. He stands by that he got hit on his penis by a rock through his pants which made him produce pus. He had chlamydia."
"Another guy says he was forced to do meth (or something similar) at a store. Came in because he thought he was dying."
"A fun bonus: a frequent flier comes in for 'his stomach hurting from eating this chili he had' while continuing to eat said chili in the lobby."
"Woman comes to the emergency room with complaints of vaginal discharge and discomfort. A pelvic exam initially reveals a significant yeast infection, but there appears to be a foreign body in her vagina."
"'Is there something stuck inside?'"
"'No, I don’t know what’s in there…'"
"A speculum examination reveals a very soft mandarin orange, peel still on."
"'Oh, that! We heard it would improve our fertility…'"
"You can’t make this s**t up."
The Classic, "No, I Mean Yes."
"'Do you have any medical problems?'"
"'So no diabetes?'"
"'What medications are you taking?'"
"'Metformin. For my diabetes.'"
"I facepalm every time."
Oh, How Did That Get In There...
"Guy came in for a wound on his lower leg that he said came from a biking accident."
"An X-ray revealed a bullet inside his ankle joint. The wound was from shooting himself by accident while holding a gun. Still don’t know how he didn’t fracture anything."
But It's Corn!
"Part of my job is dealing with medical records. My favorite part is when you are reading the doctor's notes and you can tell they are fed up with the patient's bulls**t from their tone."
"Like this: 'Patient in for a routine colonoscopy, asked if solids consumed in 24 hours prior, patient confirms no. In the process of the procedure, several dozen kernels of corn are discovered in the colon and cannot continue. Patient specifically instructed not to consume corn beforehand as this happened prior to visit.'"
Plot Holes Everywhere
"One dude lied about being paralyzed after a lumbar puncture. I get a call from a nurse that the patient says he can’t move his legs following a lumbar puncture (spinal tap)."
"I called the team that did the procedure and they assured me there was no indication of this sort of injury happening during the procedure but agreed with my plan to get an urgent MRI."
"I go to examine him and the nurse says she thinks he moved one of his feet. Next thing I know he says he can actually move his legs again but they are feeling weird."
"Then this weird feeling turns into intense pain and he asks for intravenous narcotics (Dilaudid). I tell him no because this story makes no sense."
"By god, it was a miracle I tell you when this man walked himself right out of the hospital after I refused the IV narcotics."
"Also, the MRI was normal."
Absolutely No Alcohol
"Patient: 'I haven’t drunk alcohol in months!'"
"Patient's family: 'It’s true, I’ve been with her the whole time.'"
"Me: 'Ma’am, your alcohol level is 325.'"
"Patient: 'Impossible! I would never lie to you!'"
Against Medical Advice
"One of my favorite things I wrote my first year out of medical school:"
"'Please note patient has stated multiple times that he wants to leave and would leave AMA (against medical advice). He asked multiple times whether he could eat and stated he is hungry. Explained to the patient that we would like to start a full liquid diet first and if he tolerated it well, would transition to regular foods.'"
"'However, the patient ordered Chinese food delivery instead. Then, the patient was complaining of a headache. Was given Tylenol for the headache. The patient stated that this did not help him.'"
"'His sister at bedside went to the nearby pharmacy and bought Goody powder (aspirin). Sister did ask whether she could give him Goody powder. She was told not to give the patient the Goody powder. She supposedly did not.'”
"For context, the patient had a catastrophic GI bleed from taking too much aspirin."
Quitting or Taking a Break
"'Do you smoke cigarettes?'"
"'No, I quit!'"
"'When did you quit?'"
Just a Little Secret
"I had a lady tell me she had no idea how she got a rash she had on her face. I left the room, gave a report to the MD, and when I walked back in with the doctor, she looked at me and said, 'I didn’t think you’d be coming back in the room.'"
"She then proceeded to confess that she’d been cheating on her husband and thought she had herpes. She did not have herpes."
History of Smoking
"A common one is about their smoking. Smoking is an enormous risk factor for fracture nonunion, meaning a fracture that doesn’t heal."
"When I walk into a nonunion patient’s exam room and it smells like a cigar den, I know they smoke."
"But they’ll tell me they don’t right to my face. Before signing them up for revision surgery, I’ll commonly order a urine test for nicotine metabolites. Often it’ll turn out positive and suddenly they have a Surprised Pikachu Face."
"Their identity. Insurance fraud using a friend's and relative's insurance card. As a resident in a very large east coast hospital, I was tasked to figure things out when the blood bank called and said their blood type changed."
"When confronted with getting the wrong blood that may kill them, they almost always tell the truth. This type of fraud has also resulted in people who have been dead (and autopsied) raising from the dead and 'appearing' in a clinic or ER."
Dentures Have Entered the Chat
"My dad neglected to mention he had no teeth... since 1976. We found out in the ICU. In 2022."
"Wait... did he wear dentures, or did you just not notice that he didn't have any teeth?"
"Maybe he had a comically large mustache."
"Actually, HE DOES. But he also never mentioned having dentures!"
Most Recent Snacks
"Medical school student. Not a big deal but a patient lied to me about what she had eaten."
"She was obviously having some problem with her gallbladder. Typically this pain can be caused by greasy food."
"So I asked the patient what she had eaten before she got this pain. The patient said she only ate a salad with very little ranch, that’s it."
"I even explained how greasy food can cause this pain but she’s adamant she only ate a salad."
"Anyways, I report back to my attending and we see her together. The attending asked her what she ate."
"The patient said salad then adds she also ate a burger! It wouldn’t have changed the plan but why lie??"
Doctors are always full of interesting medical stories, but the ways in which patients lie is especially fascinating.
If a person is pursuing medical treatment, wouldn't they want to give the information that would help the doctor most accurately treat them?
The Weirdest Things People Have Been Told Not To Do Because It’s Considered 'Gay'
The word gay, which was often used to describe moments that were joyous or lighthearted and carefree, has evolved considerably.
In modern usage, the word "gay" colloquially refers to homosexual men, but it can also be used in a demeaning way typically drawn from LGBTQ stereotypes of men behaving or appearing in a flamboyant manner.
Curious to hear how strangers online experienced how the word was used, Redditor Infrared-masochism asked:
"What’s the weirdest thing you’ve been told not to do because it’s 'Gay?'"
Interests in certain hobbies are apparently a dead giveaway of queerness.
"I took up photography a few years back and my friends asked me to photograph their wedding. I did it and even made them a slideshow with nice music because I wanted to try it out. I showed it to them and my buddy said it was gay. He called his own wedding photos gay."
"A few things I've been called gay for doing:
- Using an umbrella
- Wearing a sweater
- Not knowing how to play any songs by Stevie Ray Vaughn on the guitar at age 15
- 'Wearing a shirt with another man's name on it' (it was a hockey jersey with a player's name on it and I was 12)
Just to name a few off the top of my head!"
Way With Words
"The funny (not funny) thing too was it was when I was in grade 4 and it was the student teacher who said it. We did an annual trip to a water park in June every year before the end of the school year. I had a broken arm that year so on the way out to the bus I ran back to the room and grabbed a book and as I was walking out he was like 'a book? You're gonna spend the day READING?' and I was like 'well, broken arm, ya know?' And he was like 'pretty gay, dude, pretty gay!'"
With A Dreamy Far Off Look...
"I didn't know my Dad was your teacher, holy sh*t. Well at least you got it lucky, as someone who still carries around a book with him to this very day, Dad used to call me a gay for reading just about everywhere all the time. 'you're so busy with your face in a book all the time. I'm so disappointed in you, Son. I brought extra condoms down with me because I thought you'd be a chip off the old block taking virginity." - My Dad on the common area at the hotel we were staying at on vacation when I was 13 years old."
"Cooking. Umm, I have to feed myself and I’d prefer fresh, nutritious meals that don’t require unhealthy takeaway and cost a fortune."
Observing these normal types of behavior had skeptics convinced of their suspicions.
"My Dad used to tell my brothers not to wash thier hair so much.or they would 'turn gay'."
"Real men can fry a steak with the grease in their hair 👌"
"I was taken aside by my deeply concerned and shocked friend and was told 'you know that’s a MALE cat you’re stroking?' I was astonished."
The Stigma Of Kindness
"Being kind to others."
"Excuse me, wasn't aware that I had to burp and fart right in your face to state that I'm a straight guy."
"I've heard this one many times. Apparently basic human decency is in such short supply these days that the idea that it could come from a straight person is inconceivable."
"Literally just happened about 5 minutes ago. Listening to music at work, Cindy Lauper's 'Time After Time' came on. Co-worker walked by and informed me how gay I looked sitting at my desk listening to that song."
There is a straight way and a gay way to examine your body parts.
Not-So-Cute Cuticle Check
"Apparently I passed a straight guy test (back in the 90s) when I looked at my nails palm up with my fingers curled in vs palm down with my fingers out straight."
"Had a friend who said he had weird bumps coming up on his skin so i suggested he go to the dermatologist. He said only women do that. Alright man, good luck…"
In elementary school, a couple of my classmates asked me to check my shoe because I stepped on gum.
I bent my right leg behind me and looked over my shoulder to inspect the sole of my shoe, which turned out to be devoid of any of the suspected gooey substance.
The two yahoos howled hysterically and said the way I checked my shoe was soooo gay, and that therefore, I must be."
Apparently, straight dudes would inspect the bottom of the shoe by lifting their feet up in front of them and inverting their ankles upward.
Gee... how did they know?
It can be shocking, almost repulsive, to look through history books and read the things which were actually laws at one point in time.
These include bizarre ones, like a national speed limit of 55 miles per hour due to an oil shortage, as well as historically inhumane laws, such as segregation and slavery.
Thankfully, many of these horrifying and/or bizarre laws have been repealed.
But if one were to look closely at laws around the world, there are still a number of ludicrous and terrifying laws which remain in effect.
That many people might even, rather ironically, think should be illegal.
"If you could remove a law, which one would get the boot?"
They're Always Watching
"Digital security act (2018)."
"It's a law by the government of Bangladesh, which can let anyone file a case against you, if you speak against the government online."
"There are multiple cases where someone criticized the government, and they have been put in prison because of this law."
"It basically hurts the freedom of speech of Bangladeshi citizens."
"Even though there have been voices raised to demolish this law, the autocratic government doesn't care at all."- ArianThehunter
The US Government, In A Nutshell...
"The ones that allowed politicians to accept funds from corporations."- No_Commercial5671Lobbying For The People GIF by Creative CourageGiphy
Drugs Is Too Broad A Term
"Psilocybin, LSD, and marijuana being considered Schedule 1 drugs (at least in the US)."
"Wild to me that drugs like Xanax, Oxy, some other strong prescription drugs, cocaine, and f*cking meth are all considered 'less dangerous' than drugs that have a much lower death toll and have been shown to be more beneficial in various different treatments and trials."- localstreetcat
Some Of The Most Annoying Laws Aren't Even Enforced...
"Murphys law."- Zert420
No One, NO ONE, Should Be Above The Law
"Any law about immunity for politicians."- iOliverSupRichard Nixon Corruption GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy
Aren't Politicians Supposed To Be Working For Us?
"The one that allows politicians to raise their own salary as long as at least 51% of them vote in favor."
"A few years ago they increased minimum wage by 3.5% then proceeded to increase their own salary by 40% and add 2 new benefits."- vksdann
So, Pretty Much All Laws Benefitting Politicians
"The one that protects individual politicians against the effects of what they did in office."- Silent-Revolution105
Which Citizens, And How Exactly Are They "United"?
"Citizens United."- LilysilsAmy Klobuchar GIFGiphy
More Like Profiling Act
"And whatever laws that allow for government surveillance besides Patriot Act."
"My dank memes on Reddit and search history is none of the business of the FBI who think using the word 'based' is grounds for a terrorist investigation."- Realtor_3605
"All the anti-terrorist laws that took our privacy's without anyone giving sh*t."- Brilliant_Salad_1345
Not Exactly "Small Government" If You Think About It?
"Where the government can take your stuff."- rtxpurelife2Robin Hood Disney GIFGiphy
Bring On The Public Domain
"Every copyright extension from the original (around 20 years)."- reyseven
Um... Do You Really Need Either?
"I would say the meaningless illegality of stuff like nunchucks, balisongs, etc.:
:Why can I buy a military knife made for killing people but I can't buy a knife which uses springs to open?"- racistinfrastrukture·
Clearly Not From A "Stand Your Ground" State...
"The one where you're not allowed to defend yourself if someone breaks into your home with the intent of stealing from you (in my country)."- lycos94
It doesn't take very long at all for certain laws to become outdated.
Making it all the more infuriating that these laws remain in effect.
Particularly when they likely shouldn't even have been made laws in the first place.