Worst business decisions ever

Sure, but Kodak never actually made those sorts of cameras. They’d have had to try to muscle in on a different segment of the photographic world, which would have been a tough lift.

I’d be curious to see how Canon is doing today with the mirrorless cameras/high end ones vs. how they were doing say… 15 years ago when they still sold a lot of P&S cameras.

What I posted had nothing to do with Kodak, but rather to refute the idea that the digital camera market has “essentially evaporated”.

Mirrorless high-resolution models are among those filling a demand among dedicated photographers that camera phones can’t satisfy.

Virtually all the photos I take these days are however with a camera phone. It’s not worthwhile for me to spend $1K-$5K or more for a high-end camera, but others lust after them.

Yes, yes they did.

Hell’s Bells. Sam Phillips sold Elvis Presley’s contract to RCA (IIRC) for $35,000. No percentage of future recordings. That makes the Lanape tribe selling Manhattan to the Dutch for $24.00 look like genius.

Montgomery Ward had a distribution center in Kansas City, but the company was never headquartered there.

ironically that worked/works for the Japanese video console makers

It’s interesting because we have a couple of different types of examples here.

I don’t find the mistakes of not signing an artist that went on to huge things to be the same as businesses that either took something that was working and decided to break it with some new new. In between are the examples of a business not keeping up with the times.

A lot of places have tried to make the “Fast Food Buffalo Wing” a thing but wind up failing. McDonald’s famously lost a ton of money trying to have “Mighty Wings” which were breaded buffalo wings with no sauce, the idea was you’d dip the wings into their chicken nugget sauce cups to “sauce” them. Unfortunately for them you couldn’t actually fit a buffalo wing into their existing sauce cups (which were intended to only fit a chicken nugget after all), and I’m fairly certain NOBODY actually likes plain breaded buffalo wings. But McDonald’s actually bought so many wings thinking this would be a thing they had a six month backlog of unsold Mighty Wings that they had to wind up selling for a loss just to get rid of them.

As a kid who grew up in the '80s but inherited a bunch of '60s and '70s cards as well, I found myself broke in the '00s and unloaded everything for pennies after the '80s/'90s bubble burst but before things turned around again.

I could include my mother with these bad decision-makers. She threw out all my brother’s old Mad magazines, including issue #1 (one of which went for $25,000).

There are of plenty of places that serve wings either plain or just breaded and you dip them into containers that aren’t much bigger than a McDonald’s sauce cup , so I don’t think that’s the issue. What I haven’t seen is anyplace that fries buffalo type* wings in advance and keeps them under heat lamps - I suspect they don’t keep well. Which means that McDonald’s either cooked them in advance and held them which affected their quality or they cooked them to order - and if I was willing to wait 10 minutes for wings, I would probably be waiting somewhere other than McDonalds. Or maybe the issue is that people don’t want to eat wings while riding in a car.

*if you go to a fried chicken place, they have wings, but they aren’t the same as the buffalo wings you get in a

Buffalo wings should be unbreaded and served tossed in a cayenne-based hot sauce and butter/margarine. They are usually broken into “drumettes” and “flats.” (I wouldn’t say a whole wing violates the definition, but breading them does, no matter what some places outside Buffalo do, though most respect this original idea, in my experience. But don’t put barbecue sauce on it and call it a “Buffalo wing.” It’s not a synonym for a chicken wing.) Any spicy chicken wing outside this definition I just call a “hot wing.”

You are correct that they don’t keep well after saucing. Even a few minutes makes a big difference, as anyone who has taken wings to go knows. They just start absorbing the sauce and get soft. Not everyone minds, but soggy wings drive me nuts. A trick around this is to order sauce on the side, but I don’t know if this is regular practice by most people (I just know one person who always orders their wings naked with Buffalo sauce on the side for this reason.)

The big issue with the wings at McD’s was the franchisees hated them. Required different utensils and the time to properly cook them just held up drive thru lines to unacceptable levels. Got more than one sigh upon me ordering the things, that is for sure.

If everybody’s mothers held on to MAD magazines (and comic books and pulp magazines and all the rest) they never would have been worth $25,000.

And 99% of those which were kept are worth practically nothing because you as a kid read them to death while modern collectors pay big money only for mint condition magazines that somehow were kept in perfect storage conditions. I still have hundreds of original 60s Marvel Comics. At top prices, they’d go for millions. Because I read and reread them, they’re collectively worth hundreds.

“Mom threw it out” is the attitude that told people to keep all their comics and cards and toys and “collectibles” only to find out after the fad that value only accrues to the rare and difficult to access.

But it sure is fun to show Mom what my old comics would’ve sold for, and give her a hard time.

But maybe I should be honest and admit to her that my funnybooks would’ve been graded “NG= NOT Good; comic has been rolled up and shoved in the back pocket of dirty Levi’s while climbing in a quarry.”

But one of my workmates was smarter. When THOR first appeared, he bought a dozen and put them in archival envelopes. I was impressed that he was so much smarter than I was at the age of ten. But maybe that’s why he ended up the CEO while I was just a Creative Director…

There’s also a book by a Xerox executive called “The Computers Nobody Wanted”. Hard to find, but I’m reading a borrowed copy, fascinating.

My Xerox story: in the early 70s, they had a midrange line, the 500 series. The ad slogan went something like, “We’re Xerox, we’ll always be there for you”. My dad was running the Arts Computing Office at University of Waterloo, which was what it sounds like: a computing center for Arts students, focused on Humanities stuff rather than math stuff.

My dad did his due diligence, and the ACO bought a 530. It worked ok, but a year or two later, Xerox dropped support.

A decade or so later, Xerox got into the PC clone market. Guess what their ad slogan was…my dad laughed and laughed.

Bam! That exists

I used to eat at Fazoli’s all the time when I lived in Denver, some 25 years ago.

The local Fazolis closed during the pandemic. Other earlier closures were the aforementioned Rax, Hardee’s (at least in this area), Chartoose Caboose, Quiznos, Bakers Square, Carlos O’Kellys, Friday’s, Macaroni Grill, etc… So it seems like the worst business decision is to open a fast food or casual dining place in my town.

One that hasn’t been mentioned yet is Quibi, the erstwhile mobile streaming video platform meant to target urban commuters that decided to launch with a pathetic slate of scripted videos right as the pandemic was beginning and commuting was at an all-time low. The timing isn’t entirely their fault but they were unable to compete against existing services and were annihilated in short order. Even if they pandemic hadn’t closed the lid on them so quickly they never would have survived against TikTok with its endless supply of free user-created (and arguably better) content.