Even business behemoths Coca Cola get it wrong sometimes. Photo: Alessandro Dantonio (Unsplash)

The Business World's Most Unbelievable Bets

Trading and business are so intertwined that they could not exist without one another. It's for this reason that so often good businesspeople make great traders.Knowing when to invest, when to pull out, what seems like good value and what is destined for failure are key traits that both businesspeople and traders need to have. That's why it is so shocking when successful businesspeople get it so very, very wrong. We've rounded up some of the most staggeringly awful decisions from the business world for your enjoyment.

Turning Down Google

If you were offered the chance to essentially buy Google for less than a million, you'd leap at the chance. More than twenty years ago? It's a little trickier to say, but most of us still probably would have. That is sadly not the case for search engine Excite, who were offered the chance to buy Google for $750,000in 1999. At the time Yahoo were the kings of the search engine castle, with Google still being relatively small fry. It seemed to the team at Excite that Google worked in a similar way to them and so their technology wasn't worth the investment. It turned out to be one of the biggest business fails of the century. After all, when was the last time you used Excite to search for something?

The Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made some good business decisions in his life. However, as we have already established, with dizzying heights often come crashing lows. Trump's gamble on the success of the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino would turn out to be a disaster. The thing that makes this so unbelievable though, is the string of failures that came before it. Trump's track record with casinos has been patchy, to say the least, so imagining that this one would succeed was perhaps not great business sense. The adage that practice makes perfect seemed not to ring true in this instance. What is even more staggering though, is that Trump knew that this casino would have to outperform all of his others just in order to break even, every single day. Thanks to the sky-high costs of construction, purchasing neighbouring buildings and paying staff, this venture was doomed to fail and, sure enough, earlier this year, the whole project came crashing down to cheers from Atlantic City residents.

New Coke

Even the giants get it wrong sometimes. Coca Cola are one of the biggest brands out there, with a monopoly on the drinks market that is frankly frightening. However, back in 1985 they decided to launch what became colloquially known as New Coke. The formula had changed somewhat, and they were sure that people would prefer it, but as it happened, people liked what they knew. Coca Cola pressed on with New Coke up until 1992 when they tried a pretty feeble rebrand to Coke II in order to cut their losses. However, by 2002 it really was time to give up on the dream and take New Coke/Coke II off the shelves forever.

Not Buying Netflix

Not buying Netflix was undoubtedly the biggest mistake Blockbuster could have made. Photo: Stephen Holdaway (Unsplash)


It seems like just about everybody in the world has a Netflix account, so it would be a real killer to have been offered the chance to buy the company only to pass it up. Movie rental giant Blockbuster were in that very position and, as such, are a classic example of what happens when you fail to move with the times. It turned out that Netflix were on to something, and Blockbuster no longer were. Whilst we all miss the nostalgia of driving to a Blockbuster, picking out a video and choosing a bag of candy to enjoy it with, turns out none of us miss it enough to give up instant access to a million films whenever we open the lid of our laptops.

By Giselle Barret

Tags.