1) Napoleon invading Russia with food for just 30 days thinking he could end the war in 20 days
Napoleon had been undefeated before he invaded Russia in 1812 and he controlled the rest of Europe firmly except Britain. He thought by capturing Moscow he could dictate terms to Russia. The Russians retreated and burned all of the crops in the process until winter came. Down to less than 100,000 cold and exhausted men, the French army was forced to abandon the campaign.
2) The sale of Alaska to the USA
Russia sold off Alaska to the USA for 7.2 million dollars in 1867 considering it as a mere marshland. Today, Alaska stands as a treasure trove of natural resources worth billions of dollars.
3) The partition of India and Pakistan
This is probably one big mistake for which India and Pakistan both are still paying for. Including the fight over Kashmir, two bloody wars and loss of peace, soldiers as well as insurmountable amounts of money, the loss on both sides has been tremendous. It was estimated that about 600,000 people were murdered in just 7 days after partition.
The main cause of partition is due the British policy of divide and rule before leaving independent India. They created communal tensions among Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs which resulted in riots among themselves giving advantage the British to rule India for long.
Even today India and Pakistan fight over Kashmir achieving nothing but loss of peace and leaving beautiful Kashmir in chaos.
4) 61,000 shares for 1 Yen
In 2006 Mizuho Securities, a Japanese trading company wanted to sell one share at 61000 Yen on Tokyo Stock Exchange. The actual sale value put up by a stockbroker was 610,000 shares for only 1 Yen each. By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late and stock Exchange had already processed the order. The loss was estimated around $225M.
5) Prithviraj Chauhan forgiving Muhammad Ghori
Indians are known for their kindness and soft-hearted nature. This was proved by one of the bravest men in Indian history Prithviraj Chauhan too.
It is believed that he had “ Forgiven” Ghori multiple times and let him go back to his Mongol roots.He had harrashed Persian rulers so much that the forceful demolitions of temples even in there own land was stopped as a fear of attack from Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan.
Having defeated and captured Muhammad Ghori in the Battle of Tarain in 1191 AD, Prithviraj could have easily beheaded him as suggested by his advisors. But unwilling to compromise on his magnanimous Rajput tradition, Prithviraj allowed him to go scot-free.
Muhammad Ghori came back strong with bigger army waging a war again in 1192. The result was that India had to under the Islamic rule for almost 800 years following the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan.
5) NASA’s Mars Climate orbiter
The Mars climate orbiter was designed to study the climate on Mars. The Orbiter ended up being burnt in the Martian atmosphere because of a conversion error. The engineers at NASA forgot to convert the measurement units from pounds to newtons resulting in the $125 million satellite getting destroyed without providing any valuable results.
6) Titanic Sinking
There are various reasons that have been attributed to the sinking of the so called “Unsinkable” Titanic. One of them was the warning sent about the Iceberg. The Whole mishap could have been avoided if warning sent was marked as urgent. It is said that senior radio operator did not pass a clear warning to the ship’s captain, Edward Smith. Clear warning could have indicated and required a captain to personally acknowledge the receipt of the message. Another reason for the cause is believed that due to unavailability of Binoculars at right time which could have warned the crew in advance to avoid the mishap.
Most importantly, The Owner strongly believed that Titanic won’t sink did not consider taking enough life boats with the Ship. The Titanic was originally designed to have 64 lifeboats, which was more than enough for the 2,200 people who were on board on the night of the disaster but only carried 20 lifeboats, giving the overall lifeboat capacity of 1,178 people.
I believe more people would have been saved if enough lifeboats were available at the time of disaster.
7) Yahoo refusing to buy Google for $1 million
Today everything around and related to Yahoo reminds of all the mindless decisions that the company has taken in the past.
Back in 1998 two individuals, Larry Page and Sergei Brin, who were unknown to the technology company offered to sell their little startup for $1 million so they can resume their studies at Stanford. Yahoo could have easily turned the tables if it had said yes to Larry Page and Sergei Brin when the duo approached it, selling Google.
Today Google is the one of the most valuable companies worth over $500 billion.
Another big mistake: In 2008, Microsoft had showed its interest to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion. The company refused. In 2017 Sadly Yahoo was acquired by Verizon Communications Inc. for just $4.83 billion.
Karma is a boomerang and that’s how life changes, nothing is permanent….!!
8) Xerox fails to protect commercial secret from Apple
In the 1970s, technology firm Xerox had already created a personal computer that could be controlled by a mouse. However, the firm never sold it. About a decade later, Xerox invited Steve Jobs and others from Apple Inc. to visit their research and development facilities in exchange for $1 million (£645,000) worth of Apple’s shares. Unfortunately for Xerox, Apple made use of the idea and launched it as their own later. Though the shares are now worth around £9 billion, the “market cap” (the total market value of all of the company’s outstanding shares) of the Mac maker is a whopping £355 billion
9) Nokia: Not changing with generation
Nokia was probably the world’s no. 1 phone company and sold its billionth phone in 2005. With a history that began in 1979, it innovated its way into making the most sought-after mobile phones in the market.
When iPhones and Android came into the market. Suddenly, consumers weren’t looking at Nokia anymore for the latest and greatest in mobile tech.
Nokia realized too late that they needed something that could compete with the smartphones. Even after producing touch-enabled phones, it was sub par compared to other smart phones produced by Apple, Samsung and other android phones lagging in user experience.
Nokia’s market share continued to decline and in 2014, Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile business for $7.2 billion.
From $245 billion in 2000 to just $7.2 billion in 2014..!!!