The evolution of the world that we live in has not been smooth. Humankind has made many mistakes and how! The events such as faulty business deals, scientific discoveries, experiments going wrong, accidents, or any manmade disaster, are a few examples of how mistakes have treated the whole world, affecting it at large and changing it altogether.
What are the Biggest Mistakes in the World?
Nobody is perfect, not even the business tycoons or kings and their empires. Mistakes happen, and everyone makes mistakes. This article covers the biggest mistakes that the whole world has experienced. Read on to know.
Throwing Away the Bitcoin Portfolio
The craze for this new currency is real. Many people seem to be investing in the same. When Bitcoin was newly introduced, James Howells bought 7,500 of it in 2009. At that time, its value was next to nothing. But by 2013, the value increased to 613 pounds, giving him a portfolio of a whopping 4.5 million pounds.
The man must have lived a life of riches and luxury had he not thrown the Bitcoin portfolio.
When Google was Left Unbought for $1m
The founders, Larry Page and Sergey Bin approached George Bell, the CEO of Excite, in 1999. They proposed to him the offer to buy Google for $1 million. At that time, Bell was not keen on the initial offering.
After a few bargains, the pair went down to $750,000, but sadly the CEO rejected the same. Today, the total value of Google extends up to $365 billion.
Tiger Woods Divorce Settlement that Cost him a fortune
The controversy erupted when the news of Target Woods sleeping with multiple women broke into the media. The report came out in 2009, and within a year, the golfer agreed to pay an astronomical amount of $750 million as a divorce settlement.
The total cost of this settlement reached even higher. It is one of the biggest mistakes made in history by an individual.
When Euro-million Lottery Tickets were Thrown by an Elderly Woman
A woman in England bore a loss of $181 million. She played the lottery every week and pick the correct numbers to win Euromillions. However, one day her husband threw the tickets away.
At that time, she knew she picked the correct numbers as she would write them down on a separate sheet of paper each week.
New Mexico Loses Control of a Controlled Burn
This mistake happened in 2000, and a major loss was witnessed in property damage.
The Cerro Grande fire in New Mexico in 2000 began as a prescribed fire that spread due to high winds and drought conditions. The flames were so extensive that they burned for over a month. The fire destroyed 48,000 acres, leaving 400 families without homes, and causing massive destruction.
The Nuclear Meltdown at Three Mile Island
The world has witnessed great destruction, in terms of nature, life, and money, and the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island is one of them. A faulty equipment caused this meltdown, causing a loss of $836.9 million in repairs and clean-up.
The incident took place in 1978. The water meant for cooling uranium fuel in the plant burst from this containment chamber. Reportedly, this incident is the worst nuclear accident in the history of America.
NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter was Lost Forever
In 1999, NASA lost its Mars Climate Orbiter worth $125 million. This event is considered one of the worst design and development blunders. The engineers from Lockheed-Martin utilized the Imperial system of measurement in creating a part of the orbiter module. The rest of the team used the standard metric system.
The two entirely different measurement systems failed to provide the correct coordinates of the spacecraft’s navigation system. Consequently, it plunged into orbital insertion and was lost forever.
The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl is one of the worst incidents happened to mankind. The meltdown of the reactor at this place resulted from gross negligence on the part of the authorities responsible.
The incident took place on the 26th of April, 1986. Nuclear experts ran a test on one of the four reactors at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine). The team turned off the backup cooling system and used only eight boron-carbide rods to control the rate of atomic fission instead of fifteen. It resulted in an uncontrollable chain reaction.
The accident caused 100 times more radiation than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined. Over 4000 people lost their lives, and more than 70,000 became permanently disabled.
The Rejection of J.K. Rowling by 12 Publishers
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is one of the most celebrated series of novels of all time which was even turned into movies and received immense success. But are you aware her work was rejected by 12 publishers?
Her first novel was rejected 12 times in a row. Finally, the 8-year-old daughter of an editor at Bloomsbury expressed her desire to read the rest of the book, which made the publishing house sign a contract with her. The rest, we see, is history. Today, more than 450 million copies of the novel have been sold worldwide.
British Petroleum Oil Spill
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig owned by British Petroleum exploded on the 20th of April, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico, causing huge turmoil. After the sinking of the oil rig, a sea-floor oil gusher continued flowing for 87 days. It was finally sealed off on the 15th of July, 2010.
The explosion took place due to the high-pressure methane gas from under the sea oil expanding into the drilling riser. Such expansion made it rise to the rig. Consequently, it ignited and exploded. This accident made 11 people lose their lives. It also caused a loss of 4.9 million barrels. The British Petroleum is the largest Alaskan oil spill to date.
B-2 Stealth Bomber Crash
The incident took place in 2008. A B-2 Stealth Bomber was destructed right after taking off. It was the result of some faulty sensors that messed up the readings of the air pressure.
Before taking off, the B-2 was touted as the most advanced American jet of all time. The crash was massive and also caused the loss of a whopping $1.4 billion, making it one of the most expensive crashes in the history of the USA.
When Netflix was Turned Down
Netflix is one of the most popular OTT platforms in the present time, which has just completed 25 years. But do you know, that it was once turned down by many video rental stores?
A proposal was made by Netflix to Blockbuster in 2000 that it would handle Blockbuster’s online component for videos and that the latter could host its in-store component, thereby eliminating the culture of DVDs. However, Blockbuster did not welcome the idea quite well. They laughed it out. Today, it must be regretting that laugh.
A Misprint Made Japanese Company lose Millions
A Japanese company called Mizuho Securities wanted to sell one share for about $5,000 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. However, the stockbroker had not had enough sleep and made a small mistake while entering the data.
He put up 610,000 shares for sale for 1 yen each. The company protested, but the Stock Exchange had already processed the order by that time. Consequently, it caused the company a loss of a whopping $225 million.
Beatles Was Rejected by Decca Records
Who doesn’t like to grove on the classics created by the Beatles? This band is one of the most popular bands in music history. However, do you know that the band, too, experienced various rejections before becoming popular? One of them was by Decca Records.
The Beatles auditioned at Decca Studios in 1961 on New Year’s Eve. They dished out 15 tracks in a few hours. The songs were a combination of mainstream and original number. But the band’s performance did not impress Dick Rowe much. According to his statement, the ‘guitar groups were on their way out.’
Five months later, The Beatles were signed by George Martin at Parlophone. The collaboration became one of the most successful attempts in the history of Hollywood music.
Mercedez-Benz Bought Chrysler
The year 1998 witnessed the merger of the two luxury automobile giants, Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler. The former decided to buy the latter to create Daimler Chrysler for $37 billion.
However, the merger of the two companies did not work well. The company had to face huge losses, after which Mercedes decided to sell Chrysler Cerberus Capital Management. It did so for only $7 billion. The range of overpayment went up to $20 billion by the company.
When a Company’s Name was Misspelled
It doesn’t happen frequently, but the British Government was sued for 9 million pounds after making a clerical error. They inserted a rouge‘s’ and the wrong company was recorded as being in liquidation. While on the contrary, it was never in losses.
As a result of this mistake on the part of the British Government, over 250 people lost their job. The Companies House mistook a 124-year-old Welsh family business called Taylor and Sons for Taylor and Son.
The Sizzling Skyscraper that Resulted in the Meltdown
Skyscrapers are nothing less than eye-catchers. There was one in London which was referred to as Walkie-Talkie. It was designed by architect Rafael Vinoly. Walkie-Talkie became popular for its unique shape. It embraced curved eye-catching walls. However, this was not it.
The building became infamous when its south-facing wall covered in reflective glass started redirecting sunrays in such a manner that was actually melting automobiles and causing the fire. As a result, many arrangements to fix the problem were made, including the installation of a permanent sunshade and using temporary netting.
The Third Founder of Apple Who Sold His Share
Apple is the biggest name in technology. There are many tales about the founders of this giant, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak. The tech company changed the way we live our lives and perform business activities. But do you know the company had its third founder too?
Ronald Wayne owned 10 percent of the company. He remained the founder of Apple only for 12 days and decided to sell his share to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 only. Little did he know that one day the company’s net worth would extend to a whopping $1 trillion! The mistake made by him is hard to ignore.
When the New Coke Flavor Became a Big Flop
Coke is one of the biggest names in the food industry. It boasts a timeless flavor that the makers have successfully maintained over the years. But do you know there is a reason why the company turned a cold shoulder to experimenting in terms of its taste and flavor?
In 1985, Coke came up with a plan to introduce a new flavor to give tough competition to Pepsi. The company introduced New Coke. It tasted sweeter than tasting soda. However, the flavor was not well-received by the customers. Not only this, but it also led to rising stocks for their competitors. Coke eventually decided to discontinue the flavor and stick to its original creation.
Yahoo! Sells to Alibaba
Talk about the legends in the tech and finance industries, and the mention of this story is a must. In 2005, Yahoo! Owned 30 percent of Alibaba. After seven years, the former decided to sell half its stake to the latter. The company priced it at $13 a share. The deal appeared lucrative to the company at that time. After all, the retail behemoth made $7.6 billion out of the same.
The tables, however, turned in 2014 when Alibaba went public and broke records after its stocks rose to a whopping $68 each share. As of today, the shares in this company are worth $150 per share. The company is valued at $84 billion. In 2017, Yahoo! sold its internet business to Verizon. The deal was sealed for $4.8 billion.
The Fall of Lotus Riverside Apartment
Lotus Riverside Apartment was a residential complex in Shanghai, which collapsed due to poor construction practices. Ten meters of displaced soil was piled against one side of the building, while a 4.6-meter car park was dug behind the opposite side. The collapse led to the death of one worker who returned to the construction site to collect his forgotten tools.
There were many instances of warnings about the poor construction going on. However, the construction company turned a blind eye to it.
When Alaska was Sold to the United States
Not many people know this, but The Last Frontier was not always part of the United States of America. Once upon a time, it belonged to Russia. Alexander II did not think much of Alaska. Moreover, the harsh weather conditions made the land difficult for farming. High transportation costs prevented it from being profitable as a trading port. Eventually, he sold the colony to America for $7.2 million in 1867.
A century and 20 years later, the estimated value of Alaska’s oil and gas reserves alone is a whopping $200 billion.
When Titanic Hit the Iceberg
The tragedy that the passengers and Titanic faced is like no other. The ship was initially dubbed ‘the unsinkable’ and was the largest passenger ship in history. However, it sank, and how!
Regardless of the warning of the impending danger, the crew decided to set off on its ill-fated route. On the 15th of April, 1912, it scraped its right side along a gigantic glacier. It caused the vessel to take on water and sink. Around 1500 people died, and a monetary loss of $7.5 million occurred.
The use of Thalidomide as a Morning Sickness Treatment
Thalidomide was first introduced in the early 1950s as a safe OTC sedative. Many doctors prescribed it to pregnant women as a morning sickness treatment across 46 countries. However, soon the negative effects of the drugs were noticed.
The babies of these women were born with severe deformities. Affected babies had shortened arms or legs and flipper-like hands and feet. Some babies were also born with other defective conditions like malformed ears, eyes, hearts, and other organs. By the time the manufacturers pulled the drug, it was already consumed by 100,000 pregnant women. Around 40 percent of babies exposed to this drug lost their lives.
When the Trains were Too Fat for the Platforms
In 2014, A French company, SNFC, flubbed the purchase of 2,000 trains for the reason that many of their platforms were narrow to fit these new trains.
It was a great mistake that cost the company around 50 million euros. It was also a steep cost to incur on top of the 15 billion euros the company had already paid to purchase these trains. The cause of the error was negligence on the part of the operator to measure the train platforms. These platforms were built 50 years ago.
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