Now we're not business heads in charge of multi-million dollar corporations, but even we could see the DVD rental business going bust many years ago. Unfortunately for Blockbuster, they were super stubborn about expanding the online component of their website, as Netflix approached them a number of times in order to strike up a partnership. Blockbuster denied these opportunities to enter the online game early, with the company now having succumbed to the power of online streaming.
While we were sad to see Blockbuster go due to the countless memories we have of strolling through its aisles, it was plain to see that streaming would eventually usurp DVD rentals, and now we have wonderful Netflix originals such as House of Cards, Daredevil and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Nintendo's GameCube wasn't a bad console. Its games looked great and it packed a powerful punch considering the system's small stature, and it was home to a number of classic titles from Super Smash Bros. Melee through to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. However, a lack of support from third-party developers meant that it struggled against the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox.
Realizing that they couldn't win in the third-party stakes, Nintendo went back to the drawing board in order to come back with a console that could rival their peers. Thus the Wii was born, a console which opted for a non-traditional control method by introducing the Wiimote, a motion-controlled device that made games more accessible to people who didn't particularly play video games.
The GameCube wasn't a mistake, but Nintendo's reliance upon their first-party releases when Sony and Microsoft were employing external development teams left, right and center was certainly an error of judgment. The Wii saw Nintendo reclaim their place atop the hardware throne, whilst also widely broadening the appeal of video games in general.
Though you could be forgiven for thinking that Steve Jobs was the first to throw around the iPod concept, the idea actually belonged to Tony Fadell, an independent consultant who initially contacted RealNetworks about the possibility of a portable MP3 player.
However, RealNetworks weren't too impressed with the idea, and after just six weeks of working alongside the company, Fadell packed his bags and left. His departure would lead him to Apple, who took his idea and gave him the duty of coordinating the company's audio product strategy, which included designing the first iPod, carrying Apple into a world beyond the Mac.
This is a prime example of a business decision spelling bad news for the business in question, but great news for the consumer. When IBM first started developing personal computers, they enlisted the help of Microsoft in order to develop an operating system for them. However, as IBM didn't really believe the future of software was going to be all that lucrative, they allowed Microsoft to keep the rights to the OS and shop it around to other companies, with IBM agreeing.
This decision led to Microsoft's Windows, software that has made the company billions upon billions of dollars that could have potentially been in the pocket of IBM.
Google shot themselves in the foot when they acquired Dodgeball, a popular check-in app at the time before check-in apps officially became "a thing," back in 2005, before promptly nullifying its popularity by attempting to transform it into the failed Google Latitude.
Founded in 2003 by Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert, Crowley eventually left Google following the site's acquisition, describing his time with the company as "incredibly frustrating." No longer stifled by Google, Crowley went on to form Foursquare, which is currently evaluated at $500 million. A big loss for Google, then, but with Foursquare now being the most popular check-in app around, it was also a big win for users.
Shortly after Yahoo CEO Terry Semel took up his post at the company in 2001, it was suggested that he buy up-and-coming search engine Google. After a meeting with Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin, they valued the company at $1 billion but, as Semel claims, stated that they weren't too interested on selling. Rather than throwing his checkbook at them and saying "take whatever you want, just please let us own you!" Semel instead said that he'd have to think about the $1 billion figure, despite Page and Brin clearly wanting more money out of him.
When Semel returned to Page and Brin, they had inevitably raised the asking price to $3 billion. Semel opted out, and Google went on to become a company with a market cap of $170 billion, going on to acquire the likes of YouTube and eventually kicking Yahoo into the dust. While it was an historically bad business decision on behalf of Yahoo, we're pleased that Google were left to their own devices and didn't become consumed by their competitor.
The launch of Windows 8 wasn't exactly a successful one. Its tile-based functionality was widely criticized, its removal of the Start menu left a sour taste in users mouths and it failed to overtake Windows 7 as the company's most popular modern operating system.
However, Microsoft made major improvements to the format with its Windows 8.1 update, which still didn't particularly help push sales of the OS, but at least gave Microsoft a great indication of what its users wanted thanks to its positive reception. This has now led to the creation of Windows 10, Microsoft's upcoming OS that looks set to change desktop operating systems forever.
Microsoft no longer wants to release its operating systems incrementally, but has instead claimed that Windows 10 will be their last ever OS, with it instead being improved using updates. The OS will also help improve the entire Microsoft ecosystem, with it being pushed onto all of Microsoft's products including the Xbox One and its Windows Phone series. It looks great, and it sees Microsoft pushing further into Apple's domain of interlinking its hardware in order to drive sales of each of its products.