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.

GamerAssassin98

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.

-el_supreme_duderino

Inadvisable Promotions 

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.

-INeed3Quid

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.

-badwolf42

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.

-opopki

Yahoo has such a talent for killing the companies it buys haha. Flickr is one. Then Tumblr, which they just destroyed this month.

-thinkscotty

Too Controlling

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.

-dragoon1955

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.

-AngrySmapdi

Bad Timing

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.

-rsnyder6

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.

-Miserable_Waffle

Self-Own

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.

-endjynn

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Can you see Harry Potter at a football game in the Midwest? Chowing on a corn dog, throwing back some good ole Pepsi-Cola? Or can you picture the Harry universe living and loving in the great U. S of A? What would casting look like against the backdrop of the great harvest plains? I have so many thoughts and ideas. The first thought, the change would never work. Keep the story alive on British soil.

But, for fun, let's chat about the idea.

Redditor u/Cuish wanted all the Potter heads out there to share what American tweeks would occur in the Potterverse within America, by asking:

If Harry Potter was set in the United States, how would the story change?
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Luke van Zyl/Unsplash

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Everyone's experiences are different going through life. We may not be able to see the complexities it if we haven't lived it ourselves.

So we went to Reddit because we wanted to see what's not as simple as people think it is.

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RobinHiggins/Pixabay

Double standards are something we all live with and, quite likely, find extremely annoying. Things like men being expected to hide their emotions—or not have them at all—or women being expected to stay home and support a couple's children, everyone is generally harmed by double standards.

This is especially true when the double standard isn't clear until someone violates it and then has to deal with anger, ridicule, or sometimes even violence as a result.

Content Note: this article mentions suicide and sexual assault, reader discretion advised.

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Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!