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:
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.
Over-sharing is a thing. Sometimes, people really just cross the line in the information they've decided to volunteer to us.
It's hard to control who does this to us since it tends to take us by surprise, but hearing some of the things that people have suffered having to hear can easily act as cautionary tales to us.
Seriously, Who Asked<p>I used to work at an animal shelter and we had several people who would come volunteer to help out.</p><p>One of the women who came there on a regular basis went to lunch with me. She was such a sweet woman, a little older than I was at the time. She proceeded to tell me that she used to go to the park and hook up with old men because she felt sorry for them.</p><p>WTF?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/moviesandcats/" target="_blank">moviesandcats</a></p>
Decent Bloke....<p>I (25f at the time) was at A&E in the UK. I got discharged and was waiting for my taxi outside. This buff shirtless dude, covered in tattoos (they were decent too, imo) comes over and asks for a light. I bought a zippo for novelty so I obliged.</p><p>We got to talking and he told me how he had just got out of prison after serving a life sentence for killing his father, after his father murdered his baby sister. Had his records on him and everything (he was at the hospital as he was diabetic and had experienced an issue of some sort after being released - I have no expertise here).</p><p>I have never feared and respected a man so much in my life.</p><p>I bought him a pint after my taxi decided it wouldn't be arriving. Decent bloke - we still speak 9 years later.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heavenhelpyou/" target="_blank">heavenhelpyou</a></p>
Oh....Sounds Fun....<p>My sophomore year In college a girl who I had a group project with told me that her first sexual experience was getting tag teamed by a couple of guys while she was in high school. </p><p>I just told her "wow, that's pretty intense." She told me that she loved it and then I changed the subject. Until that point nothing sexual had come up in the conversation.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Nothing_/" target="_blank">Nothing_</a></p>
TW: Suicide<p>My manager at my job in high school decided to tell us about how she tried to end her life on my very first day. </p><p>She was like, "One day, I decided to take some pills and end it all. I grabbed a pill bottle out of my mom's cabinet and took a handful without even looking at what it was and then lay down to die. I was so surprised to wake up in the morning perfectly fine. Confused, I checked the bottle to see what I had taken."</p><p>Yeah, it was estrogen.</p>
Please Tell Me About Your Infidelity<p>My wife loves to tell this story.</p><p>Her first day at a new company she was to meet another employee who would show her around the office. She met her in the lobby and on the elevator ride up to the office she proceeded to tell my wife how her husband has gained some weight and she is considering starting an office affair with a co-worker who is really into fitness and 'has muscles' (apparently she made a gesture where she fanned herself while saying muscles)</p><p>Like literally my wife met this lady 5 minutes earlier for the first time in the lobby and she is already unloading all this stuff on her.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Boxman75/" target="_blank">Boxman75</a></p>
TW: Abuse<p>I was seated next to a quiet kid on a high school band bus to a football game. He'd been in my band class for years, but I had never really spoken to him. He was the type who didn't fit into anything at school that I ever saw. I resolved to get to know him a bit and open up a conversation since we were going to be sitting by each other for a few hours. It was like a dam burst; that dude talked for the whole trip.</p><p>At one point, he told me that his mom was really unhappy with his stepdad but couldn't afford to divorce him. And then he told me that his stepdad would get drunk and beat him with a stick, but he wasn't sure if his mom was also getting beaten and that scared him. There was a brief pause before he said "I never told anyone that before..." Then he changed the subject completely.</p><p>I must've been seventeen or so. It shook me. Like... Obviously I was old enough to know that sort of thing happens, but too sheltered to think it happened to anyone I knew. I told my parents about it-- seemed the right thing to do. I don't know what happened from there. He and I never really spoke of it again. I just looked him up on Facebook, though. Looks like he's done really well for himself.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DietrichBuxtehude/" target="_blank">DietrichBuxtehude</a></p>
Not The Thing To Tell Your Nurse<p>I was doing my practice in a hospital. They brought a young man in the neuro clinic, he was my 1st patient. He was around 30 and he had fallen from a tree while working. </p><p>He turned out to have a complicated neurological condition that had nothing to do with his fall. He was also diagnosed with severe depression. He was in there for months and no one ever visited him, the only time he felt a bit better was when I visited him and did some tests to him. </p><p>He said "it's nice when you come and make me play with the coloured toys and make me draw things". One day he was looking out of the window, when I came in he looked me dead in the eye and told me "you know, if the windows didn't have protective bars, I'd jump right out". It was the 1st time I'd heard such thing and I remember it ever since.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Shoddy_Natural4217/" target="_blank">Shoddy_Natural4217</a></p>
Ope Okay Guess We're Going There<p>Coworker took out a client for a business lunch at a small town restaurant. He asks the waitress "How are you?" to be polite. </p><p>She proceeds to go on a 5 minute spiel about how terrible her ex husband is and how he's ruining her life and how she feels like crap because of it. After she finishes, takes their order and leaves the customer says "So you must know her pretty well?" </p><p>"Only well enough to say hi in passing." </p><p>"Oh, so then that was just as awkward for you as it was for me then?" </p><p>"Yes, yes it was."</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/NowhereinSask/" target="_blank">NowhereinSask</a></p>
The Evidence Is The Burn<p>Some guy next to me on the bus once went into a long elaborate story about how he burned his house down for insurance money like three weeks prior.</p><p> I wouldn't have believed it if his hands didn't have massive burn scarring.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/STARCRUSHER99/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">STARCRUSHER99</a></p>
Who Are You Fooling?<p>Met this dude in college when he moved into the dorm. Goofy looking redneck kid from the San Antonio area. I'm getting to know him when I notice his Spice Girls cd (this was like 2003), and I commented on it. </p><p>He then goes into this long story of how he was at the Walmart in San Antonio, looking at the CDs in that store and just happened to have bumped into Ginger Spice who invited him into the tour bus that no one had noticed, and he lost his virginity to all the Spice Girls at once.</p><p>My thought was "Thank you for this story, I know instantly that I can never trust or believe anything you ever tell me again." It's been almost 20 years and I still can't believe that was something he said in the first five minutes of meeting me.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/GreatJanitor/" target="_blank">GreatJanitor</a></p>
We're never that surprised when we encounter people who are lackluster at their jobs. Bad waiters, rude customer service people, dishonest contractors, or inept colleagues abound throughout daily life.
But it's interesting that we expect to encounter that kind of ineptitude far less with certain professionals.
Salt in the Wound<p>"I was dealing with a lot of family issues at the time and my ex had just broken up with me that week so I was taking it fairly hard."</p><p>"My therapist said 'it's because they found someone better' and when I said no and tried to explain she just dug in deeper that my ex had dumped me because they found someone better than me."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goytctg?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sgrmw</a></p>
Suddenly, a Brainstorm Session for Insults<p>"14, telling my shrink about how I was bullied in school."</p><p>" 'Do they make fun of your nose?' "</p><p>" '...nnnno....?' "</p><p>"And that's how I found out I have a big nose."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp0jn7u?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">KindlyOlPornographer</a></p>
The Exact Wrong Outlook<p>" 'You'll never do an important job like doctor, veterinarian, firefighter, lawyer, conselor...You'll probably end up in a Walmart for your whole life.' "</p><p>"I was 8 years old and still remember how mad my parents were lol."</p><p>-- -<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyug8s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SincerelyDontCare</a></p>
Mourning Snooze<p>"Nothing. She fell asleep in her chair while writing notes....I was talking about the death of my parents. I was 16. Never went to another therapist" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gozuyga?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Papismurf101</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"After reading a few of these I'm convinced some therapists get there education on a milk box. Flipping heck. I'm so sorry that happened to you." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp2zydy?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">illthinkofonel8er</a></p>
When Word and Deed Do Not Align<p>"When they say things like 'okay I understand how you are feeling thank you for telling me' but proceeds to ignore most of the things I've said. -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyrsef?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PrestigeZyra</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Ugh I hate that. Sympathy is not Empathy."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Rephrased: 'Based on what you've shared, I think I'm starting to understand what you have been through. Thank you for telling me. Now you said X, would you like to explain that further so I can better understand?' "</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It's called motivational interviewing and that specific technique is 'reflecting' and 'clarification' to ensure the client is able to fully explain their meaning without the provider 'assuming' anything or ignoring the person's statements." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gozv732?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">jhorry</a></p>
Proven Wrong Almost Immediately<p>"Go back to work, you'll be fine, you don't need different meds."</p><p><em>"3 times being sent home and psych ward visit later" -- </em><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goygpxp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BalancedJoker</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goygpxp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>"let me guess, diagnosed with depression (unipolar). prescribed an SSRI type antidepressant. turns out you have biploar depression and without mood stabilizers the SSRIs sent you into a strong manic episode." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp0hdbz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SecTrono</a></p>
Doubling Down<p>"I had a psychiatrist who was convinced I was anorexic even though I wasn't."</p><p>"It really sucked because my therapist and my psychiatrist worked at the same company and they had a policy where they don't help people with eating disorders."</p><p>"So even though I went to a specialist and they confirmed I didn't have an eating disorder I was still banned from that facility and lost my long term therapist."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyzbxh?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">assainXD1</a></p>
Throwing Shade on a Healthy Habit<p>"I use my creativity with art and craft as both a coping skill and as something that gives me extra purpose in life."</p><p>"A psychologist told me that doing so is maladaptive. I didn't go back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyloq7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BlackCaaaaat</a></p>
Wut<p>"Had a therapist tell me that my soul, long before I was born, chose my parents and subsequent childhood abuse so that I could learn from it."</p><p>"By this logic, of course, the abused person is always in control and the abuser is helpless. Argue with that logic. Needless to say I never saw her again."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyszg6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mercuryrising137</a></p>
On the internet, people tend to say things they likely would not in the real world. The anonymity of a forum or comment section--composed only of verbal contributions beneath made up names--compels us to socialize with less inhibition; we take more risks with the peers we can't see in the flesh.
THANK YOU<p>"Maybe not small. But my job is sort of essential. I support software that is used by many hospitals and medical facilities."</p><p>"I've pretty much worked every day and made sure our sh** didn't blow up whole covid wrecked shop. I get no mention. I get no praise but damnit I'm happy to keep helping fight the fight."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5ubry?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">shartnado3</a></p>
Making All the Right Moves<p>"Trimming 7 years (so far!) off our mortgage through minor payment tweaks and tax return lump sum payments."</p><p>"It takes planning and discipline, but means we'll both be able to retire without house-debt. Planning to surprise SO with this next year once I get it down a little further." </p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5w7mm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">flitterbug78</a></p>
The Leap<p>"I finally got the courage to apply to, interview for, and accept another job, and quit the job I've had for a decade." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp63t9k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">whatisgoinghappen</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Good job. I change as well last September. After 14 years it was stressful. Especially with a wife, a mortgage and a kid depending on my income." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp8x685?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Angio343</a></p>
33.83 Years of Training<p>"I successfully plunged a toilet today! For the first time in my 33.83 years of existence! I'm just relieved I don't have to call the guest house manager."</p><p>"That'll teach me not to flush toilet paper in India smh."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp69rfb?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">fvckyes</a></p>
Keep It Going, Keep It Going<p>"Running 45 minutes to one hour most days for the last four weeks." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5uufd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">InbhirNis</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's brilliant!! Geesh if you can keep that up, even if it becomes just a few times a week you are adding YEARS to you lifespan, as well as LIFE!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp6gjdv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BlueLunarStar</a></p>
Pristine Extremities<p>"I been biting my nails all of my life and have finally stopped. I always feel a little silly to show my friends and be like, look, I have nails!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp64l2e?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mobiuthuselah</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Hey that's awesome! I've been biting my nails for like 20 years, it is a HARD habit to break. 👏👏" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp8cu86?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">takethehiddenpaths</a></p>
1, 2, 3<p>"I did three loads of laundry today. Folded and put away too!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5tmtb?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">rockbiter81</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Is..is that humanly possible? I mean put away and everything?" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp71hfd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AtheneSchmidt</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Several years ago, when I was majorly depressed, laundry was the hardest thing to do. It felt never <a href="https://ending.to/" target="_blank">ending.</a> To this day, keeping on top of laundry is like saying 'I'm doing ok' for me."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Doing three loads, folding AND putting away is amazing from my perspective! Congrats! Good job!!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp7bebe?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Smartass_Narrator</a></p>
Step One, Check<p>"I've been making a point to try and shower every day."</p><p>"It doesn't seem like much, but when I'm going through a rough bout of depression - it's the biggest accomplishment I can muster and I'm very proud of myself and my current level of stinky-ness"</p><p>"(current stink level: not stinky!! Yay)"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp61um4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">datCHEESElife</a></p>
Upswinging<p>"Drug addict for the last 10 years, tomorrow marks 2 months clean. May not sound like a long time but it's longest I've gone ever" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp601uu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">yo_Slick</a></p><p>"Been an alcoholic for 9 years. 2 weeks sober tomorrow" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5v4ol?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">IscreamwhenIsh**</a></p>
Here's to You Making It<p>"today is my 26th birthday and I'm still around for it" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5uq5b?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">b4byd0t</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I've been depressed for decades. I just turned 49 four days ago and I never thought I'd get here. It's been rough for most of those years, but I'm still here and I think of all the people I've helped that wouldn't have happened and it gives me a purpose. Do the same."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Think about anything you've done, even if it's just giving directions to a stranger. You helped that person get to where they needed to be. If you weren't there, they might still be lost now." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp7yyjw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">eddyathome</a></p>
Time and dedication is critical to learning new skills.