Planned obsolescence is illegal in France. It is a crime to intentionally shorten the lifespan of a product with the aim of making customers replace it. In early 2018, French authorities used this law to investigate reports that Apple deliberately slowed down older iPhones via software updates.
2. The first major investor in Facebook, Peter Thiel, made over $1 Billion from his original $500,000 investment by selling his shares. That’s a 200,000% return on his investment.
3. Soon after Bill Gates had gone to start Microsoft, a Harvard professor who had worked with him recalled, “He had moved to Albuquerque... to run a small company writing code for microprocessors, of all things. I remember thinking: ‘Such a brilliant kid. What a waste.’”
4. The original group of PayPal founders and employees has been named “PayPal Mafia” because they have gone on to become one of the most successful groups of individuals in the world. The portfolio of companies they've founded includes; Tesla, Youtube, Space X, Linkedin, Yelp, and Founders Fund, to name a few.
5. Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon have all refused to stream the 200th and 201st episode of South Park due to the appearance of Muhammad in them. They are currently unavailable to watch anywhere legally as South Park was also forced to partially censor the episodes on the DVD releases.
In 2005, Sony used music CDs to illegally install a rootkit virus on 22 million computers; and when caught, they released an uninstaller that failed to remove the rootkit, installed further programs and illegally collected user information.
7. In 2008, Microsoft proposed to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion, but Yahoo rejected the offer. In 2016, it was sold to Verizon for $4.8 billion.
8. Blockbuster had the chance to buy Netflix for $50 million in 2000 but turned it down to go into business with Enron.
9. In 1930 two brothers created the first car radio which they named a “motorized victrola” which they then shortened to Motorola.
10. In 2012, Facebook altered the number of positive and negative posts in the news feeds of 689,003 randomly selected users to see if they could make the users more happy or sad. They published the results of this experiment in an academic paper.
When Android was unveiled in 2007, Nokia was quoted as saying “we don't see this as a threat,” and a member of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile team stated, “I don't understand the impact that they are going to have.”
12. Hitachi once produced an ATM that heated bills to 200 degrees Celsius to kill any bacteria and then ironed them before dispensing.
13. In 2014, black taxi cab drivers of London brought parts of the city to a standstill, protesting against Uber. This led to an 850% increase in downloads of Uber.
14. In 2018, Samsung accidentally issued 2,000 employees 1,000 shares of stock for 37 minutes before realizing the error. About 16 employees sold their shares during that time for approx. $9,000,000 each.
15. In 2012, the CEO of Lenovo received a $3 million bonus as a reward for record profits which he in-turn redistributed to about 10,000 employees of Lenovo. He did this again in 2013.
In 1994, IBM released a cell phone named IBM Simon that had a touch screen and e-mail capabilities. It could also send and receive faxes, work as a pager, and was considered the world's first smartphone due to its features and capabilities.
17. In 2009, Amazon sold diapers at a $100 million loss to scare Diapers.com into selling them their business or face running into the ground.
18. A Brazilian electronics company is legally allowed to call their phone ‘iPhone’ because they trademarked the word in 2000, 7 years prior to Apple’s iPhone. Their phone runs on Android.
19. When PayPal was started they gave $20 to everyone who made an account and $20 for every person they referred. This cost them 60-70 million dollars but they had 100,000 customers in the month PayPal went online.
20. The guy who snagged windows2000.com happened to be named Bob and Microsoft just happened to own Bob.com. They came to an agreement to trade one for the other.
In 2001, a South African company named Naspers decided to purchase a 46.5% stake into an up-and-coming Chinese tech company. This initial investment of $32 million into what would become Tencent has now ballooned to over $175 billion, making it one of the most successful investments in history.
22. In some European markets, Netflix monitors illegal downloads to decide which shows to purchase.
23. After the 2012 security breaches, Sony changed Play Station user agreement to require users to agree not to sue Sony over any future security breach.
24. In April 2011, two competing algorithms on Amazon.com each kept altering the price that they were selling a book about flies for, based on how much the other was charging. After ten days of price warring, the price of the book had climbed to $23.7 million.
25. Lenovo Computers is partially owned by the Chinese government and their computers come pre-loaded with secret back door access. As a result MI6, the CIA and other spy agencies have banned their use.