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No.1 Business Decision That Fails A Company

Critical Business Decision Failures

As an entrepreneur, you understand that running a business involves continuous decision-making. Reflecting on Peter Drucker’s words, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” Conversely, a poor business decision has the potential to lead to the failure of a company. Achieving perfection in decision-making is unattainable. Therefore, we will use Blockbuster as a case study to illustrate how a business decision can result in the downfall of a company.

Here we are going to start with the company background of Blockbuster before we go into the rise and fall of Blockbuster. In 1982, Blockbuster was founded by David Cook as a company to supply computer software services to Texas’s oil and gas industry. However, the company was left without a strong customer base when the industry went bust. Then, David Cook was suggested by his wife, Sandy who is a movie fan, to enter the video rental business. He took several months to conduct research into the video rental industry. After that, he sold his old and gas software to its manager before he entered the movie rental business. In 1985, the first Blockbuster Video Outlet was opened in Dallas, Texas. 

Blockbuster has become the top movie rental business in The United States over the next two decades.  Blockbuster as the largest rental chain was the best choice for people who wanted to rent a DVD or VHS tape when they wanted to watch a movie in the past. At one time in the 90s and the early 2000s people would have spent most of their Friday nights at their local Blockbuster to browse for the hot titles. Can you imagine? Blockbuster had over 50 million members and ran over 9000 stores worldwide with revenue topping 5.9 billion dollars a year at the peak of its game. During that time, the secret of Blockbuster achieved its early success by using computers in order to ensure all of its stores were stocked with the most popular movies. 

After we have gone through the rise of Blockbuster, we are now going through the fall of Blockbuster which is Blockbuster has made a bad decision that blocks itself out. Blockbuster had decided to walk away from the deal of the century which it refused to deal with the new start-up, Netflix. Back in 2000, Netflix had started as a DVD mailing service which was renting DVDs to their customers on the internet and delivering them over the mail. Nevertheless, Netflix kept losing money as although they envisioned streaming early on, the technology to make it possible was still not available. Hence, Netflix co-founder, Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph decided to take their company to Blockbuster and offered it for sale for the low price of 50 million dollars. They kept trying for months to get a meeting with Blockbuster executives. 

However, Randolph recalls that Blockbuster CEO, John Antioco was trying not to laugh when they proposed a joining of forces, pointing out the weaknesses in Blockbuster’s approach and also Netflix’s vision for the future of entertainment. With such a low price to acquire Netflix, John Antioco did not even make a counteroffer and made a decision to believe that online businesses weren’t sustainable. At that time, John Antioco did not know that this decision was the beginning of the end for Blockbuster. In 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and their stores began to close as they are facing competition from an ever-evolving and improving Netflix and companies such as Redbox. Nowadays, Netflix has become a movie streaming juggernaut and ultimately an award-winning production company. Guess what, who is laughing now? In 2020, Netflix is valued at 194 billion dollars. 

Key Insights for Business Decision Failures

In almost every case, business decisions fail because the truth of the reality situation has not been fully understood by the decision maker, which is the same in this case. Blockbuster had made the worst business decision that failed the company. It could have solidified as a movie icon as well as owning Netflix outright with one decision. The business landscape is replete with instances of both successes and failures. This narrative serves as a reminder that even the most innovative and entrepreneurial companies can fall short when deciding whether to seize or relinquish a business opportunity.

3 thoughts on “No.1 Business Decision That Fails A Company”

  1. As student This article brings attention to a crucial social problem and its helps me many to complete my thesis . thanks to the author

  2. Kudos to the author for the in-depth research and the array of credible sources cited throughout the article. It adds weight and validity to the claims made.

  3. Well-researched and concise. This article covers a lot of ground in a short space. Impressive!

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Hey, I’m Shone Fone Ng. I’m determined to make a business grow. My only question is, will it be yours?

About Shone Fone

Shone Fone is a Serial Entrepreneur for 10 SMEs since 1997, businesses ranging from equipment supply, manufacturing, equipment maintenance and ISO 17025 calibration service, HRM software development and training. He also an award winning entrepreneur of Asia Pacific Top Excellence Brand – Book of The TOP Recognition.

How to build

winning teams with KPI?

Hey, I’m Shone Fone Ng. I’m determined to make a business grow. My only question is, will it be yours?

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