The 3 biggest business blunders of our time

Learning from your mistakes is a vital skill for business owners. But what can you learn from the blunders of some of the world's biggest companies.

It is probably safe to assume that at some point in your career, you have made a mistake. Making mistakes and tripping up is a part of life that we must all learn from. You might have sent an email to the wrong person, forgot to hand in a project on time, or woke up late for work.

Little blunders can be forgiven, they happen every day.

However, in business, little mistakes and choices can turn into monumental messes, as the infographic below shows.

There are few people in the world who can say that their mistake led to the loss of a space probe and $125 million, or a lack of faith and patience in a company would mean them losing out on a potential $60 billion, but these mistakes are made all the time.

As a business owner, you need to be aware of the direction your company is moving in order to avoid making a mistake you might regret.

Here are our top 3 business blunders

And the Oscar goes to…

(Source: ChicagoTribune: Warren Beaty blunders into La La Land)

The 2017 Oscars awards hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when an accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers – the awards main sponsor for 83 years – allegedly handed over the wrong card to Warren Beaty, leading to La La Land mistakenly being announced as winner of the Best Picture award.

PwC, one of the world’s best-known accountancy firms, has supervised counting the ballots and the announcements, for the majority of Academy Awards ceremonies. Its employees wait in the wings, passing the results to the presenters. The failure of a system that was supposed to be foolproof, checked and counterchecked repeatedly, could not have been more public – watched by Hollywood stars and millions of people across the world on television.

The embarrassment caused the strong relationship between Hollywood’s finest and the accountancy firm to break down, threatening the partnership.

It goes to show that you always need to double check what you are doing!

A bad taste in the mouth for Pepsi

(Source: Kendall Jenner misses the mark with Pepsi)

Pepsi came under fire earlier this year after a new advert for their drink hit the wrong note with audiences.

Kendall Jenner worked with Pepsi in an advert that showed the TV personality step into a mass march with a large crowd of young protestors against a riot police force. The violence inexplicably subsides after Jenner hands a police officer a can of Pepsi, resulting in one of the most discussed business blunders ever.

Twitter quickly went into meltdown, branding the advert as tasteless and well off the mark. Pepsi rapidly pulled the advert and sheepishly offered an apology but the damage had already been done.

Getting the right tone with your advertising is crucial and Pepsi’s blunder shows just how damaging a careless attitude can do.

Picture perfect?

(Source: Kodak misses out on digital transformation)

When you think of Kodak, you probably think of clunky, disposable cameras you used to take on holiday to get your snaps before the camera phone phenomenon. Back in 1977, Kodak discovered they could digitally store photos – a revolutionary technological advancement at the time – but decided they were already earning enough from their film cameras so decided to sit on the invention and wait until the profits started to dry up.

Fast-forward to today and Kodak have been swept aside by competitors who made digital photography easy and accessible to the masses – a true squandered opportunity.

Taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves to you can be risky, but failing to pounce on your chances could leave you regretting it like Kodak.

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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