22 episodes

Corporate crookedness. Family feuding. Hilariously half-baked decisions. Host Lauren Ober tackles some of the most spectacular business failures of all time, and what could have been done to avoid them. Some of these stories are shocking. Some are funny. Some are just downright sad. But each one will give you a totally new perspective on big business… and big failure. From American Public Media.

Spectacular Failures American Public Media

    • Management

Corporate crookedness. Family feuding. Hilariously half-baked decisions. Host Lauren Ober tackles some of the most spectacular business failures of all time, and what could have been done to avoid them. Some of these stories are shocking. Some are funny. Some are just downright sad. But each one will give you a totally new perspective on big business… and big failure. From American Public Media.

    Sqirl finds itself in a jam

    Sqirl finds itself in a jam

    The Los Angeles restaurant Sqirl had lines down the block for brunches that featured its famous house-made jams on toast. But then a photo of discarded mold scraped from the jam, snapped by someone in the Sqirl kitchen, blew up the internet...and led to a reputation crisis Sqirl is still dealing with.



    Our sponsors this week:

    Bombas - Bombas.com/spectacular

    Ourcrowd - Ourcrowd.com/spectacular



    Sign up to receive our brand new newsletter, featuring weekly recommendations from Lauren and the rest of the team at spectacularfailures.org/newsletter.Read the transcript of the episode at spectacularfailures.org.You can follow Spectacular Failures on Twitter at @failureshow and like us at Facebook.com/failureshow. We're @failure_show on Instagram. Follow Lauren Ober on Twitter and Instagram at @oberandout.

    • 37 min
    NYC Taxi Medallions' steep fare

    NYC Taxi Medallions' steep fare

    Even before Uber and Lyft pulled into town, NYC yellow cabs were having a rough ride. Reckless lending practices and inflated taxi medallion prices racked up profits for the city and debt for drivers. Then, the bubble did what bubbles do. 

    Our sponsors this week:

    Policy Genius - policygenius.com

    Betterhelp - betterhelp.com/spectacular

    Sign up to receive our brand new newsletter, featuring weekly recommendations from Lauren and the rest of the team at spectacularfailures.org/newsletter.Read the transcript of the episode at spectacularfailures.org.You can follow Spectacular Failures on Twitter at @failureshow and like us at Facebook.com/failureshow. We're @failure_show on Instagram. Follow Lauren Ober on Twitter and Instagram at @oberandout.

    • 37 min
    Subprime times at Countrywide Financial

    Subprime times at Countrywide Financial

    Before the housing bubble burst, Countrywide Financial was one of the nation’s largest home mortgage lenders. But after years of predatory lending practices, the predator went extinct.

    Our sponsors this week:

    Indeed - Indeed.com/spectacular

    Policy Genius - Policygenius.com

    Our Crowd - ourcrowd.com/spectacular

    Sign up to receive our brand new newsletter, featuring weekly recommendations from Lauren and the rest of the team at spectacularfailures.org/newsletter.Read the transcript of the episode at spectacularfailures.org.You can follow Spectacular Failures on Twitter at @failureshow and like us at Facebook.com/failureshow. We're @failure_show on Instagram. Follow Lauren Ober on Twitter and Instagram at @oberandout.

    • 43 min
    Pan Am hits major turbulence

    Pan Am hits major turbulence

    Pan Am made air travel cool—from chic crew uniforms to exotic locations to square-jawed flyboy pilots. But a couple of bad business deals, massive deregulation, and a devastating terrorist attack sunset the airline for good.Our sponsors this week:

    Betterhelp: betterhelp.com/spectacularThe Great Courses Plus: thegreatcoursesplus.com/spectacular

    Sign up to receive our brand new newsletter, featuring weekly recommendations from Lauren and the rest of the team at spectacularfailures.org/newsletter.Read the transcript of the episode at spectacularfailures.org.You can follow Spectacular Failures on Twitter at @failureshow and like us at Facebook.com/failureshow. We're @failure_show on Instagram. Follow Lauren Ober on Twitter and Instagram at @oberandout.

    • 39 min
    A dairy giant gets milked

    A dairy giant gets milked

    Got milk? These days, chances are maybe not. Americans have been saying no thanks for years now, and changing consumer tastes have been bad news for what used to be the nation’s largest milk processor, Dean Foods.

    Sign up to receive our brand new newsletter, featuring weekly recommendations from Lauren and the rest of the team at spectacularfailures.org/newsletter.Read the transcript of the episode at spectacularfailures.org.You can follow Spectacular Failures on Twitter at @failureshow and like us at Facebook.com/failureshow. We're @failure_show on Instagram. Follow Lauren Ober on Twitter and Instagram at @oberandout.

    OUR SPONSORS THIS WEEK

    The Great Courses Plus: thegreatcoursesplus.com/spectacular 

    NetSuite: NetSuite.com/spectacular 

    BetterHelp: betterhelp.com/spectacular 

    • 37 min
    Napster fought the law and the law won

    Napster fought the law and the law won

    The recording industry, Metallica, and ultimately federal court put the brakes on Napster’s music file sharing. But before exiting the stage, Napster changed the way we listen to music—and how much we’re willing to pay for it.

    [Editor’s note - Sept. 1, 2020: This episode has been updated to reflect that “CyberTalk” was a group effort overseen by Jeff Gold. An earlier version characterized it as his solo effort.]

    Our sponsors this week:Bombas: bombas.com/spectacularPolicy Genius: policygenius.comNetSuite: netsuite.com/spectacularSign up to receive our brand new newsletter, featuring weekly recommendations from Lauren and the rest of the team at spectacularfailures.org/newsletter.Read the transcript of the episode at spectacularfailures.org.You can follow Spectacular Failures on Twitter at @failureshow and like us at Facebook.com/failureshow. We're @failure_show on Instagram. Follow Lauren Ober on Twitter and Instagram at @oberandout.

    • 38 min

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