CNN’s 101 dumbest business moments

I love these worst of kinds of lists. Although there are a lot of things that are just the results of plans not going as expected, there are always a few really amazing blunders. So to see what bad business moves have been made by others, check out CNN’s 101 dumbest moments in business (here’s the obligatory shorter link as well).

#9) A computer glitch in the tax rolls of Porter County, Ind., causes the valuation of a house in the city of Valparaiso to shoot up from $122,000 to $400 million – boosting its annual property taxes from $1,500 to $8 million. Though the county’s IT director spots the mistake and alerts the auditor’s office, the wrong number nonetheless ends up being used in budget calculations, resulting in a $900,000 shortfall for the city and a $200,000 gap for its schools.

#11) In August, Starbucks directs baristas in the southeastern United States to e-mail a coupon for a free iced coffee to friends and family members. But e-mail knows no geographic boundaries and, worse, can be printed repeatedly.

After the e-mail spreads to every corner of the country and is reproduced en masse, Starbucks yanks the offer, leading disgruntled customer Kelly Coakley to file a $114 million class-action lawsuit.

#24) In April, just nine months after a Business 2.0 cover story trumpets the wisdom of Raytheon CEO William Swanson and his folksy hit book, Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management, a San Diego engineer makes a shocking discovery: 17 of Swanson’s 33 rules are similar – and in some cases identical – to those in The Unwritten Rules of Engineering, a 1944 text by UCLA professor W.J. King.

While conceding that he failed to give proper credit, Swanson insists he didn’t intend to plagiarize, suggesting that old photocopied material may have wound up in his “scraps.”

By way of punishment, Raytheon’s board freezes Swanson’s salary at its 2005 level of $1.1 million and cuts his restricted stock grant by 20 percent.

And 98 others. Well worth reading at least a few, but I know reading them all can be a bit time consuming. (via Bill at DQ).

[tags]Dumbest moments in business[/tags]