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    28 Failed Companies Who Should Win A Corporate Darwin Award

    What were they thinking?

    Redditor u/H0yt asked the question: "What has been the best corporate Darwin Award? A decision made by a company that basically killed the business." The answers will remind you how prevalent are hubris, lack of vision, and plain greed among the corporates. Let's take a look at some of the answers.

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    1. "Whoever was in charge of getting the Yellow Pages online."

    2. "Circuit City making the decision to no longer sell appliances. No matter how bad the economy is, people will still buy refrigerators, washers, vacuums, etc., but they will wait on TVs and video games."

    3. "Borders ceasing business operations with Amazon."

    4. "Prodigy Online Service. They had a great message board system, which was included in the monthly rate. They got greedy, and for no reason other than wanting to make more money, started charging people to use the board, per message."

    5. "I officially nominate Schlitz Beer for the Corporate Darwin Hall of Fame. Number-one beer in America by far in the late '60s and early '70s, when some genius at the head office decided to change the recipe to save money on ingredients. Sales fell off a cliff."

    6. "Back in the mid-'90s, pre-Napster, I worked for BMG marketing those "10 CDs for a buck" crap. A memo came down from up high declaring the internet a fad."

    7. "We love rice here in the Philippines. There's a popular and relatively cheap Japanese restaurant that served unlimited rice for every meal, and it was very known for it."

    8. "Excite not buying Google for $750,000."

    9. "This year, POWDR, a group that ran Park City Mountain Resort, the number-three family ski resort in the country, got absorbed by Vail, its competition, and removed from ownership of its resort. Why? Because after 20 years of having the greatest lease in history (about $150,000 a year for a resort that grosses millions and millions), the end of the lease time rolled around, and they forgot to renew it. Literally, that's it."

    10. "I worked on the TV show Fear Factor. Pretty sure making two hot blonde girls drink donkey semen killed the show."

    11. "Peanut Corporation of America found salmonella in their products. The owner covered it up and told them to 'just ship it'. Infected and killed scores of people, the company went bankrupt almost immediately after it was traced back to them, and the owners were charged and prosecuted."

    12. "The Milwaukee Road abandoned half of their main line because they thought it was losing money despite having heavy traffic. Several years after they had torn up the line, they realized that there had been an accounting error, and that was actually the only part of the system that was making money."

    13. "RadioShack is doing it slowly. They used to be the place to go to get resistors, switches, and boards. Now, the employees don't know what a potentiometer is, and they insist on selling me smart phones."

    14. "Digg. That irreversible system upgrade."

    15. "There's a restaurant in Austin that is practically famous for its really great chicken wings. At one point a few years back, the wings were taken off the menu because they were 'too popular' and 'slowing down the kitchen.' That lasted about a month before someone realized it was a better idea to put some time and effort into improving the kitchen rather than kill off their bestselling item."

    16. "Enron for paying their executives 'idea bonuses' before the ideas turned a profit. They paid one guy millions for inventing an online movie downloading service about 10 years before that was feasible. Ironically, the documentary is available on Netflix."

    17. "K-Mart took out a whole bunch of debt to buy back their shares, looking to raise their share price. When news of this came out, Walmart (which had basically no debt at the time) decided that it would be a good time to start a price war. K-Mart had to pay off interest, whereas Walmart had little to no interest payments to make."

    18. "In 1995, Malden Mills burned down. At a time when manufacturers were relocating their operations overseas to cut costs, Feuerstein rebuilt the factory at the same location. And he continued to pay the salaries and benefits of all his employees during the rebuilding."

    19. "It didn't turn out badly, but FedEx's founder had a potential Darwin Award on his hands. When the company didn't have enough money to fuel planes, he took the company's remaining funds, went to Vegas, and bet it all on blackjack tables. Now, it just so happens he won enough to keep the planes flying, thus saving the company. That was practically a coin toss, though."

    20. "Atari spending something to the tune of $100,000,000 in the 1980s to buy the rights to make an E.T. video game followed by only giving a guy about two months to design, program, and bug test the game. It didn't just come close to tanking Atari, but console gaming in general."

    21. "Osborne Computer's founder made a screw-up so profound it not only killed the company, it generated a name for the effect that is famous in the computer industry. The moral of the story: Don't tell consumers about your new, improved, cheaper model that is coming out very soon while you are still trying to sell the existing model. Unless you want them to stop buying the existing one."

    22. "When the iPod first launched, it was an Apple-only product. At the time, I was a Sales Manager in a computer store chain, and we had people practically begging for the iPod on a PC."

    23. "Bean counters wanted to change Augustiner (the oldest brewery in Munich, very traditional, fantastic beer) to switch from in-house produced malt to externally produced malt because the malting building is at a prime real estate location in inner-city Munich."

    24. "Sharper Image suing Consumer Reports for making 'libelous' claims that their Sonic Air Filter was bogus. Turns out that it was bogus. Court-ordered product recall. Sharper Image is no more."

    25. "In 2008, speculators were driving the price of oil to unsustainable levels. Enter Semgroup, a pipeline company that moved oil and traded energy futures on the side. In 2008, they decided to go short on oil."

    26. "When Nokia said, 'Using Android is like peeing in your pants for warmth in winter,' in September 2010."

    27. "Kodak telling the creator of digital photography to go fuck himself."

    28. "Segway. In June 2003, President Bush made headlines for falling off a Segway during a test drive. This event alone probably killed the future of the company. In September 2003, the company recalled all units due to injuries sustained by customers when the battery died."