– Sir Alan Sugar, 2005.
The name Alan Sugar may not trigger a ton of bells on this side of the Atlantic, but the guy is everywhere in Britain. Why? Because he’s one of those aggressive, fame-seeking types who knows how to keep himself in the spotlight. But rest assured – he’s no Kardashian. Apart from his stint as the head cheese at Tottenham Hotspur soccer club, he’s run the consumer electronics company Amstrad, starred in the BBC version of The Apprentice, been knighted for “service to business” (that’s why they call him “Sir”), and is currently worth north of a billion dollars.
But even all of that couldn’t stop Sir Alan from putting foot in mouth in 2005, proudly forecasting that “Next Christmas, the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput.” As we all know, the iPod has since then pulled an Obi-Wan Kenobi, growing more powerful than most of us could ever have imagined.
As it turns out, the iPod prediction was just one of several notable flaws in the Sugar resume. Over time, he’s launched a gaming system that died an immediate, painful death, a Pen Pad system that died an immediate, painful death, and a phone/text message/email machine called “The Emailer” that also died an immediate, painful death. That the value of Amstrad had shrunk to a fraction of its former glory by the time Sugar pawned if off only adds fuel to the fire of failure.
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