Spectacular Failures
Spectacular Failures
American Public Media
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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
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.
Oct 5
37 min
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.
Sep 28
37 min
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.
Sep 21
43 min
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.
Sep 14
39 min
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 
Sep 7
37 min
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.
Aug 31
38 min
The toxic tale of the Love Canal fail
When Hooker Chemical sold its infamous toxic waste landfill to the Niagara Falls School Board, the $1 deal left Niagara residents seriously ill. But few believed the company could truly be at fault...until it was too late. Our sponsors this week:NetSuite: netsuite.com/spectacularBetterhelp: betterhelp.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.
Aug 24
39 min
The curtain falls on a big Broadway company
Livent was a showstopper of an operation. But eventually, forgery and fraud stole the scene, the money exited stage left, and the lead actor landed behind bars.Our sponsors this week:Indeed: indeed.com/spectacularNetSuite: netsuite.com/spectacularThe Great Courses Plus: thegreatcoursesplus.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.
Aug 17
41 min
Forever 21 goes from rags to riches to bankruptcy court
The mom-and-pop fast-fashion retailer exploded into malls across the globe. But eventually, Forever 21 unraveled like the hem on a cheap crop top.Our sponsors this week:Fiverr: fiverr.com promo code SPECTACULARNetSuite: NetSuite.com/SPECTACULARThe Great Courses Plus: thegreatcoursesplus.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.
Aug 10
35 min
Blue Apron wilts, then rises to a new challenge
The meal kit delivery service was almost belly-up before the pandemic hit. But then people stuck cooking at home gave the brand a lifeline. Investors found it tastier than ever, but will customers still hanker for the big blue box once this is all over?Our sponsors this week: Betterhelp: betterhelp.com/spectacular code spectacularNetSuite: netsuite.com/spectacularPolicygenius: policygenius.comSign 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.Spectacular Failures is powered by you. Support the show with a donation at spectacularfailures.org/donate.
Aug 3
35 min
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