Running any kind of business is hard work. It involves multiple processes such as coordinating people, gathering information, and applying resources effectively to generate profits. An important part of all these processes is decision-making. Bigger businesses have access to multiple tools and extensive sources of information to guide their decision-making. This makes it even more confusing when large companies make terrible decisions.
Below are some of the most perplexing and terrible decisions large companies have made. Consider them warnings on what not to do when running a company.
Bribing Female Employees with Egg Freezing
Companies nowadays offer plenty of perks to their employees, ranging from free bagels for breakfast to lavish company vacations. But one of the weirdest perks being offered by multiple tech firms is egg freezing.
This practice was started by social networking giant Facebook and was soon picked up by many Silicon Valley tech firms. They offer the perks to female employees over 30, telling them that the company is ready to pay for freezing their ova.
While seemingly a benign, if unorthodox, perk, critics have argued that this is a thinly veiled bribe for female employees to delay getting pregnant. Others have pointed out that these companies should instead focus on providing better childcare facilities on-site or helping employees manage their work-life balance.
Employing Contractors to Sabotage the Competition
Which of these strategies seems more likely to improve a business? Employ business intelligence implementation services to gather crucial data or hire contractors to sabotage your competition. If you chose the former, then you probably weren’t involved in Uber’s sinister attempt to take down Lyft.
The ride-share conglomerate hired saboteurs as “brand ambassadors” to try and curb their competitor. The saboteurs employed two very shady tactics in their efforts.
The first tactic involved posing as Lyft riders. During the drive, these “brand ambassadors” would then try to cajole and convince their Lyft riders to switch to Uber, even going as far as offering iPhones and everything else an Uber driver would need.
The second tactic also involved posing as customers, but this time, they wasted Lyft driver’s time instead. They would order rides and cancel them at the last moment, effectively taking the drivers from the pool for the time being.
Going into a Completely Unrelated Business
Back in the early 2010s, bookstore chain Borders was already in financial hot water. Although the company would eventually declare bankruptcy in 2012, they fought tooth and nail to stave off the inevitable. This desperation would explain the confusing decision of their UK division to start their own dating site.
They aimed the site, nauseatingly named “Happily Ever After,” at book lovers. The site promised to match bibliophiles with each other, hopefully initiating relationships that result in a fairy-tale ending. Needless to say, it was a failure, and the Borders UK shuttered after five months.
Not Paying Employees at All
Companies in financial trouble have multiple options to save themselves. They could cut down on costs, reduce employees, or take out loans. But before it was a success, music platform Pandora dared to think outside the box. They didn’t pay their employees at all. For how long? Well, for two whole years.
Back in the day, Pandora was still years away from successful development and launch. But they hit a slight snag: They’d run out of money. CEO Tim Westergren was forced to give continuous crowd-pleasing speeches every fortnight to keep employees on board.
And it worked. The streaming company was valued at $3.5 billion when it was bought in 2018.
Business is tough. But if a company is using one of these tactics to stay afloat, they should do some serious thinking into what they could be doing wrong.