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Everyone makes mistakes

3. Accepting failure and hardship is often difficult. How do we endure such a bad situation?

2. What do you think the following quote means?"Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have."

1. How would you define the word mistake

Listen and discuss

Mistake: A company rejected the patent for the telephone

In 1876, the most important communications technology was the telegraph. A wealthy company called Western Union was in control of this technology. The president of the company, Wiliam Orton , was offered the patent for an invention called the telephone for $100,000. Orton sent a response to the29-year-old inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. It said, "After careful consideration of your invention..while it is a very interesting novelty, we have come to the conclusion that it has no commercial possibilities.What use could this company make of an electrical toy?" Bell kept the patent and created his own telephone company, which became the largest in the U.S. The patent Bell had offered Western Union eventually became the most valuable patent in history. Orton could have made one of the best deals in business history. Instead, he may have made the worst business mistake in history.

Mistake: The Titanic ignored warnings about icebergs

On April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest and most modern passenger shipof its time, hit an iceberg and sank. This resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people. Yet incredibly, this tragedy could have easily been avoided. On the day the Titanic sank, it had received five warnings from other ships about heavy ice in the area. However, the captain was not worried. In fact, he even increased the speed of the ship so that it could arrive in New York a day earlier than expected. That evening, while the Titanic's radio operator was sending out personal messages from the passengers, he received a sixth ice warning. This one warned of an iceberg directly in the path of the Titanic. The operator was supposed to give the message ot the captain. But busy with his task, he put the message aside. It never reached the captain. If it had, the Titanic tragedy might never have happened.

Mistake: Russia sold Alaskan gold to the U.S.

Alaska had been considered a burden, rather than an asset, by Russia for a long time. It was remote, indefensible, and of little benefit. So, when William Seward, U.S. Secretary of State, began negotiations on his own initiative, he expected to encounter some opposition. However, the outline of the deal was accepted by the cabinet and the agreement was signed in March 1867, transferring Alaska to the United States for a payment of $7.2 million. However, the purchase of a seemingly desolate and mostly frozen land was greeted with criticism by the press and the public. Alaska was referred to as "Seward's Folly," "Seward's Icebox," or President Johnson's "polar bear garden," attitudes that must have changed drastically after the discovery of gold. Russia should have investigated potential resources before selling the land to the U.S. at the price fo about 17. cents per acre.

Mistake: Coca-Cola tampered with their successful formula

Coca-Cola® was launched in the 1880s. By 1980, it had been the most popular soft drink in the world for nearly 100 years. However, by that time Coke had more competition, and its sales figures started slipping. In an effort ot boost sales, Coca-Cola created a new, improved formula. This new formula was tested in 200,000 taste tests, and the results were clear: most people much preferred the flavor to the original Coke. The Coca-Cola Company decided to stop producing the formula they had been using for 100 years and to replace it with New Coke. This was an enormous marketing mistake. People were outraged that the original Coke was no longer available, and New Coke was a flop. Coca-Cola executives must have been surprised! They had to get rid of New Coke quickly and bring back the original formula.


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