Unfortunately, they’re not the first and won’t be the last company that bites the hand that feeds them. Terrible decisions that bankrupt or nearly bankrupt a company are a dime a dozen.
Show me a CEO, and I’ll show you a person who’s made a dumb choice at least once.
Thankfully, a person on Reddit recognized a trend: that companies often mess up big time. This question was posed to other Redditors: “Now that OnlyFans is taking back its ban on sexual content, what other company bankrupted itself through poorly thought-out and/or unnecessary decisions?”
The world was more than happy to provide stories of big companies making dumb mistakes. Let’s watch them crash and burn together, shall we?
Here are the best responses to the question: “Besides OnlyFans, what other company nearly bankrupted itself through unnecessary decisions?”
1. Yahoo missed their chance(s).
“In 1998 Yahoo refused to buy Google for $1 million.
In 2002 Yahoo offered to buy Google for $3 billion, but Google wanted $5 billion. Yahoo refused the offer.
In 2006 Yahoo was to buy Facebook for $1.1 billion, but Yahoo’s Ceo lowered it to $800 million and Facebook backed out.
In 2008 Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion, but Yahoo refused.
In 2016 Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.6 billion.” –WickedCoolUsername
2. Who would eat that many crab legs?
“One time Red Lobster offered an unlimited king crab leg deal, cause they brought the servings out slowly and were like ‘nobody is gonna sit there for 6 hours and just eat king crab legs’.
Actually, lots of people did. So many they lost millions.” –Omniwing
3. Quiznos Subs
“Corporate office decided to buy the vendors, and then contract all of the franchises to only buy materials from Corporate with a price hike.
The margins got way too high and all of the stores went out of business. They shot themselves straight in the foot.” –JoshBobJovi
4. Northern Ireland messed up their bottom line.
“The Northern ireland renewable heat incentive. basically they came up with the bright idea of encouraging people to use renewable power by paying people to do so. except you got more back per unit than the cost per unit. so people would buy an electric heater, put it on 24/7, get the money, use the extra money to buy another heater, plug that in for 24/7, get more money, buy another heater and so on.
£500 million later they realised it wasnt such a good idea, the government collapsed and didnt reform again for 3 years.” –heinzbumbeans
5. Pennies on the dollar.
“JCPenney tried to stop bullshitting customers and it backfired. They said no more sales, they’re just going to price everything low, because pretty much all sales at department stores are lies anyway. You’re not really getting 70% off, the retail price was deliberately set stupid high to convince you it was a great deal. But the discount price is the actual value of it.
So yeah, JCPenney’s heart was in the right place but ultimately it failed because customers are really that dumb and would rather be lied to.” –Phil_Drill
“There was a donut shop by my high school. Opened at 6am and closed at 5pm so students would be there every day before school started at 7:30 and after school ended at 2:15. They changed their hours to 8am-3pm and couldn’t make anymore money. They shut down a few months after the change.” –hurr4drama
7. Borders missed the Internet.
“Amazon Books, as it was then called, was a small online bookseller. It had a rather incompetent search engine, titles were misclassified, and it dabbled in office supplies. It was one early “e-tailer” among many. Amazon’s pitch was that it was trying to be an online version of the retail giant Staples and it could ship quickly.
Then a conversation happened with the giant Borders Books. This Internet thing was starting to look like it would harm retail sales, so Borders contacted Amazon, and asked them to build some online inventory, a web-storefront and a sales management system.
Because of the dot-com bust, Borders got spooked. The Internet was a passing fad. Amazon could keep the system, Borders wanted out. By 2007, Borders ended its marketing alliance with Amazon, but Amazon had began using the system it built for Borders: Amazon did keep the system. It was a much, much better system than Amazon was using itself.” –Hattix
8. Mr. Wonderful
“Kevin O’Leary single handedly killed the learning games industry (those Carmen san Diego type games that were real popular in the early 00’s) by forcing the devs to churn them out faster and cheaper at the cost of quality, slowly killing the market, and he also nearly bankrupted Mattel when they acquired his company.” –SorosBuxlaundromat
9. Ayds candy.
“They didn’t change their name after the emergence of the AIDS virus.” –NoSoul2335
10. Quibi was the worst good idea.
“Quibi when it decided that 10 minute clips watched in portrait on a commuter train is the future of home entertainment.” –oftenGetsItWrong
11. Kmart pivoted to nothingness.
“I used to work at a Kmart. They never bothered to update any of the store layouts, and they were more concerned with signing people up for their rewards card and/or credit cards, which led to longer lines, which led to more complaints…you get the idea. Also, the merger with Sears was the final nail in the coffin. Now, all the Kmarts in the area are closed.” –theycallmemomo
12. Skype missed the boat.
“I don’t know if they’re gone but SKYPE shit their pants during the race they had market lead and ten years of practice in.
Then covid hit and everyone was stuck in doors but wanted to still talk face to face zoom popped up while Skype was cleaning up in the bathroom.” –audio_54
13. I like bikes.
“The executives of America’s most venerable bicycle maker could not be convinced that mountain bikes were anything more than a fad. They made one and called it the Klunker (yes, really). Then when they realized it wasn’t, they got some small Asian company to design a mountain bike for them … giving them basically all they had ever learned about making bicycles in over a century as technical assistance.
The small Asian company used this to improve its own product, and cut into what could have been Schwinn’s share. Then they did it again with another Asian company. Then they opened their own retail stores, alienating the retailers who’d carried their product for years, like Apple would later but with much less success. Today, Schwinn is just a brand name someone else owns.” –SniffleBot
14. Tumblr was the original OnlyFans. Thanks, Yahoo!
“Tumblr banned porn a few months after I started exploring drawing porn on it. So the day they banned such content, I deleted my NSFW account and kind of forgot about my other account. I probably logged into my normal Tumblr one time since.” –GettnRandy
15. Imagine that.
“Circuit City. Major retail chain in the 1980s that collapsed under mismanagement. It’s arguably biggest blunder was firing all of their experienced, better paid workers for cheaper inexperienced ones. Apparently selling merchandise and keeping customers happy is important in the retail business. Who knew?” –Mount_Drew
16. Microsoft nearly ate it.
“Steve Ballmer nearly killed Microsoft. He thought smart phones were stupid. Thought the cloud was dumb. And did a few more things that were just egregiously stupid and took on a lot of debt. Their new CEO is doing a great job though.” –Kdog122025
17. I miss my Blackberry keyboard.
“Most popular smartphone in the world. And then they were less than 1% of the market share, their stock value dropped like the present day wildfires. A couple of years ago they announced that they would focus more on software and essentially gave up making phones which oddly enough saved the company.” –valboots
18. Little screw-up.
“Has anyone mentioned Little Caesar’s? In the mid 90s, they decided to veer away from what had always brought them success. Cheap pizza. They plunged into delivery pizza, sandwiches, etc., raising their prices and not really trying to increase the quality of their food.
At the time, they owned the cheap pizza market across most of the US. Slowly, that position decayed. They closed many stores, and were on the verge of disappearing. What saved them? $5 hot and ready pizza. It brought them back to life and they continue to grow.” –Snack_Cake
h/t Reddit: r/AskReddit