Motorola’s Late Smartphone Adoption And Other Classic Blunders In History
Dick Rowe regretted signing the Beatles. The Hindenburg blew up after they switched to Hydrogen instead of the nonflammable helium. The Titanic only had enough lifeboats for half of the passengers. The list of blunders in history is long but not without precedent. In fact, some historians argue that a lot of what we know about human beings comes from these mistakes. Here is a selection of the most famous blunders and the historians who believe they help us understand ourselves better.
1. Motorola and Nokia’s mistake
When Moto shot themselves in the foot and didn’t adopt smartphones until 2013, analysts were certain they followed the tried and true playbook. Competitors such as Samsung and LG took advantage of this sorely-underestimated competitor. As we all know, Motorola is now a rarified company, which leaves their competitors to vie for victory.
2. Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers’ flaw
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were Western Civ’s founding fathers, but they got their thinking all mixed up. In Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” he argues that people are slaves who cannot determine the truth because a master has deceived them. In Aristotle’s “Politics,” he argues that people should rule their own state, not live under a despot. These thinkers have been credited with laying the groundwork for democracy and rational, scientific knowledge in Western Civilization. They were just a few steps in a long line of thinkers who made stupid mistakes trying to understand or even influence their world.
3. The Hindenburg blunder
As one of the worst disasters in air travel history, the Hindenburg is undoubtedly a blunder. But it’s still worth noting that there was no room for improvement at this time. The airships were too big, the pilots too inexperienced, and the regulations were too strict. The construction company that built the Hindenburg had to scrap an entire fleet of airships because their founder took out millions in insurance despite knowing they’d never fly. The company also delayed designing its own rigid hull instead of taking an existing design. The result was a big ball of fire, which crashed at only 36% landing velocity, but died nonetheless at impact…
4. The Titanic
Because of its great size, the Titanic was the pinnacle of technology at the time. The ship won an award for being unsinkable, but it sank in only two hours after traveling halfway across the Atlantic, thanks to a giant iceberg.
The lesson here is not to let your mind wander… but always to remember that you might be wrong!