The bravest business decisions of all time
Business is a cutthroat world, where money rules.
Decisions are made to maximize profit, whether it’s pumping money into advertising or ruthlessly shedding thousands of staff to ensure the shareholders are kept happy.
But sometimes, businesses do go outside the profit bubble or come up with bold ideas that make them even more money.
This requires some very brave decision-making, and when it pays off, those involved are rightfully lauded.
Some very high-profile companies have gone bust as a result of bad decisions, but here are some good ones which made both the headlines and big money.
Patagonia prioritizes sustainability
Patagonia, a clothing and outdoor gear company, made the bold move of prioritizing sustainability and ethical practices over profits.
It said it was “making the earth its only shareholder”
This included initiatives such as using organic cotton and reducing waste.
While this decision may have seemed risky at the time, it has paid off in terms of customer loyalty and positive brand reputation.
CVS stops selling tobacco
In 2014, CVS Health made the decision to stop selling tobacco products in its stores, which was a bold move for a company that had previously made a significant portion of its revenue from tobacco sales.
The decision was seen as a way to align the company’s values with its business practices and to improve public health.
In 2016, Airbnb made the decision to expand beyond just offering accommodations and to launch “experiences” – unique activities and tours led by locals.
The decision was seen as a way to differentiate Airbnb from its competitors and to provide a more personalized and immersive travel experience for customers.
Tesla joins the electric car market
Tesla owner Elon Musk is not shy of a risky decision – see the saga over his purchase of Twitter, now called “X.”
His company’s decision to enter a market dominated by traditional gasoline-powered vehicles was seen as high risk, due to the high cost of electric car technology and the lack of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles.
However, Tesla’s success has helped to pave the way for the broader adoption of electric vehicles.
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Apple launches the iPhone
Apple’s iPhone is one of the most popular products in the world, but did you know its creation was seen as a major risk?
The smartphone concept was a seen as a big risk in the industry.
For a start, Apple was known for making computers and iPods, not phones. The industry was dominated by the likes of Nokia and Motorola.
The iPhone was also massively different to other phones, with its large touchscreen and no keyboard.
It was also expensive, only carried on the AT&T network and the new iOS software was also seen as a risk.
Despite all that, it was massively successful and saw off some of the giants of the day to become one of the greatest products of all time.
Henry Ford decides to double his worker’s wages
Way back in 1914, the famous car maker Henry Ford made the revolutionary decision to double the wages of his workers to $5 a day, a massive increase at the time
Ford realized that by introducing the pay, he would be able to retain the workers who would be prepared to handle the pressure and monotony of working on the assembly line.
His move also had an impact on the economy and increased productivity.