Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter, suffered huge losses after a fire broke out in his woodworking shop that made furniture. He descended into bankruptcy and decided to start making small wood items, including toys. He even renamed his company to ‘leg godt’ (‘play well’) or Lego.
While best known for its railroad operations, the Southern Pacific Company also owned and operated telegraph and telephone lines under the name Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Networking Telephony, which would later become the telecommunications company known by the acronym “Sprint.”
A car dealership ran an ad for a 1983 Cadillac stating “first 10,000 bananas takes it.” To the dealership’s surprise two brothers showed up with 10,000 bananas and won the car in a court case ruling false advertisement.
The last Blockbuster on earth, in Bend, OR uses floppy disks to boot their system, employees have to hand print cards because their printers broke, and transactions are backed up on a reel-to-reel tape that can’t be replaced because Radio Shack went out of business.
In 2015, Whole Foods tried to sell Asparagus Water for $6 (literally three stalks of asparagus in a bottle of water). Twitter users made fun of the company for selling such a ridiculously pricey item. The company’s CEO then issued an apology and pulled off the product from the shelves.
The company Samsung accounts for 15% of South Korea’s entire economy, and that South Koreans often live in Samsung owned apartment buildings, can get treatment from Samsung-owned medical centers, go to Samsung universities, and even end up at a Samsung funeral parlor when they die.
American employees at large-sized companies (1000 or more employees) only spend 45 percent of their time actually “working”—that is, time spent on primary job duties and not on meetings, administrative tasks, and interruptions.
Piggly Wiggly was the first true self-service grocery store. Before their founding in September 6, 1916, grocery stores did not allow their customers to gather their own goods. Instead, a customer would give a list of items to a clerk, who would then go through the store, gathering them.
The Who Paid 99¢? website reveals a list of people who paid 99 cents to see who else did.
The Japanese never ate salmon sushi until the 1980s when a Norwegian businessman, hired by Norway’s government to offload excess salmon, made a deal with a Japanese company to sell the fish in its grocery stores, leading to its popularity today.