"The Big Question" asked 17 entrepreneurs, journalists and academicians what they believe to be the worst business decision ever made.
That is not an easy question. Human beings have been conducting business of all kinds for a long, long time. I wondered, would the answers involve singular cultural moments, like the leader of a hunting and gathering band who dismissed farming communities as a passing phase? How about a Babylonian trader who went bankrupt because he wouldn't adopt the zero. Maybe something terrible happened on the Silk Road to change civilization forever? Or, perhaps it was China accidentally missing the Industrial Revolution? If someone was claustrophobically, provincially American he might even offer Britain's introduction of the Stamp Tax, ultimately losing the American colonies, or Henry Ford's tragic misread of the American consumer.
I don't pretend to be a global business historian, but I love this kind of stuff and was anxious to see what the best and brightest gathered by The Atlantic would have to say.