Big companies that missed great opportunities

While searching for something totally unrelated on Google the other day, I stumbled upon a very interesting article from I often place a link to an article I’ve read and am basing part of my post on for you to read. Whether you read that linked article or not does not usually effect what you will get from reading my post. However, in this case I think you really should read this article because I think you will be entertained.

It is not so much an actual article as it is a series of quotes throughout history. They are from big companies that were offered products, patents and ideas for products and services that are common place in today’s world. You will see quotes such as the one from Fred Smith’s (Founder of FedEx) Yale University Professor telling him his idea is not “feasible” to would-be investors of David Sarnoff’s commercial radio in 1920 who told him that it has no commercial value because no one “would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular.”

This article is missing many other quotes that follow the same pattern of terrible decisions in business that would fit nicely there and would make you laugh today. However, the message to take from this is that hind sight is always 20/20, but foresight is often very hazy. In fact, it takes more than just good foresight and intelligence to be as successful as the people that did take a chance on these great ideas listed in the article. It also takes simple luck. Every billionaire in the Forbes list of billionaires (over 1,000 people) acknowledges that luck played a role in them becoming as rich as they are. Of course, luck alone is not enough. Lottery winners become rich 100% due to luck and many of them end up in the same dreary financial shape they were in before they won.

It is important to be lucky in order to achieve great business success. However, in order to have the best chance to be lucky, one must also put oneself in the best position to be lucky. This means always looking for an opportunity and going for it when the opportunity presents itself. It also means not being afraid to fail. Every successful person was a failure until they got it right. Keep these things in mind if you are trying to be the next great entrepreneur.