Business decisions are undertaken to improve business performance. Moreover, many of these business decisions may turn out to be unsuccessful. However, some of them turn out to be masterstrokes and can prove to be incredibly profitable. In this article, we will analyze some of the greatest business decisions of all time, looking at each decision in detail.
Steve Jobs was forced out of his own company, Apple, in 1985. He founded the company in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and went public in 1981. Moreover, In the same year, the company became part of the exclusive Fortune 500 club. However, in 1985, Apple’s board of directors fired Steve Jobs. During his separation with Apple, Jobs founded NeXT computers and The Graphics Group, later to be renamed to Pixar. Pixar became incredibly successful, and after Disney’s acquisition of the company, Jobs became Disney’s largest shareholder.
However, Apple realized their mistake in 1997 and acquired NeXT computers for $427 million and also brought back Steve Jobs to the company. Jobs became Apple’s CEO in July 1997. The board’s decision to bring back Jobs proved to be a masterful business decision as Apple became a market leader in product innovation. A couple of decades later, Apple is one of the biggest companies across the globe, owing much of its success to Steve Jobs’ leadership.
In 1914, Henry Ford faced a huge conundrum amid protests to increase the wages of factory workers. The workers proposed a wage of $5 a day for 8 hours of work. The conundrum was because the proposed rate by the workers was almost twice of the average factory worker wage at that time. Moreover, the 8-hour workday was also an hour less than the average of 9 worked by a majority of Americans.
Henry Ford agreed to these demands, mainly to squash protests and stabilize the workforce. However, this decision of his proved to be very fruitful for the Ford Motor Company. He wanted to pay his workers for their monotonous assembly-line work and enabled them to buy the cars they made. Hence, they worked harder and were more productive. A win-win situation.
Facebook is currently the biggest social media platform in the world. With billions of viewers worldwide, the social networking site has continued to grow in influence. However, things could have been much different for Facebook. In 2006, the company was just 2 years old and was earning nearly $30 billion in revenue when Yahoo offered to buy it for $1 billion. However, Zuckerberg refused to sell. In 2012, Facebook had its IPO and in 2016 reported a net revenue of nearly $27 billion. Today, we cannot even imagine a world without Facebook, such is its influence. Hence, a magnificent business decision by Zuckerberg.
Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg also dropped out of Harvard in the middle of his degree to move to Palo Alto to run Facebook. His decision to quit one of the best universities in the world proved to be a masterstroke, as his sacrifice eventually bore fruit. He returned to Harvard 12 years later in 2017 as Facebook’s CEO and a billionaire to finally finish his degree.
Furthermore, Mark Zuckerberg maintained control of Facebook through retaining stocks by skipping a venture capital round. This created enabled mark to retain nearly 25% of Facebook’s stocks, ensuring he has control over the company he founded.
Imagine a world without Netflix. Can you? Probably not. This is because Netflix has become the biggest online streaming platform in the world. However, before shifting to online streaming services, Netflix was shipping DVDs to customers while also allowing them to stream movies online. In February 2007, Netflix sold its billionth DVD and started moving away from its original business model and focused on online streaming. While scoffed at then by competitors like Blockbuster, that business decision proved to be quite fruitful. Moreover, the likes of Blockbuster failed to adapt and eventually went out of business.
In 2013, Netflix had added two million American customers during the fourth quarter of 2012, with a total of 27.1 million in the US and 29.4 million total streaming customers worldwide. In addition, their revenue increased by 8% to $945 million for the same period. Today, Netflix has hundreds of millions of users worldwide and is the biggest online movie and TV show streaming platform in the world.
These are 4 of the greatest business decisions of all time. At the time they were made, many people would have been skeptical and may have dismissed them as wrong. Today, we can see those decisions bear fruit.
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