Making a crucial mistake
Messing with the best
The mistake: Wrestling’s great. The NFL’s great. So why not combine them to create Xtreme Football? Because it will dismally fail as a sport.
The moral: Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
The mistake: In 1974, Cleveland Indians baseball fans have too many cheap beers and trash the stadium out of frustration at the score.
The moral: The cheaper the drinks, the better you have to play.
Money can’t buy happiness
The mistake: Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev doesn’t want to pay his wife $1b of his $8.8b fortune after a 30-year marriage. The divorce ends up costing over $4.5b.
The moral: Always make sure your lawyer is better than hers.
Learning to share
The mistake: Ronald Wayne returns his 10% stake in Apple in 1976 for $800. It would now be worth $30b.
The moral: Cash isn’t always king.
The mistake: When offered the lead in Pretty Woman, Molly Ringwald declines. Julia Roberts says, “Thank you very much!” The rest is history.
The moral: Richard Gere plus George Costanza equals career longevity.
The mistake: A man in Pennsylvania buys 25 lottery tickets. When the numbers are drawn, he misreads them. Consequently he throws all his tickets in the trash, losing $1.25m.
The moral: Keep any potentially money-winning tickets for a couple of weeks, just in case.
The endless horizon
The mistake: Willem Janszoon discovers Australia in 1606 but declares it inhospitable. Then the English arrive and reap the rewards.
The moral: See the bigger picture.
Sad state of affairs
The mistake: A czar sells Alaska to the Americans for $7.2m in 1867, unaware of gold and oil underfoot.
The moral: When selling, don’t scrimp on the survey.