Netflix vs. Blockbuster
Have you ever been so angry with a company that you proceed to destroy it and the entire industry as well? Well, Reed Hastings did just that when he got the idea for Netflix after receiving a $40 late fee of the movie Apollo 13! After pulling some investors together, Hastings launched Netflix in 1998 and quickly revolutionized the rental industry. If that wasn’t crazy enough, two years later Netflix was offered to Blockbuster for $50 million and declined. If you think you’ve made some poor life decisions, imagine being the guy that declined to purchase the company that would eventually put you out of business and be currently valued at $32.9 billion.
Westinghouse vs. General Electric
The longstanding rivalry of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison is legendary and full of history, but we’ll just hit the bullet points. In 1884, Tesla moved from France to New York where Edison welcomed him into his company. Tesla was offered $50k if he could redesigning the Edison Company’s direct current generators and improve their service and economy. Having completed this task after months of hard work and enquiring Edison about the $50k compensation, Edison refused payment, saying it was a joke and that “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor”. After resigning, Tesla would go on to join Westinghouse where a bitter war between alternating and direct current would ensue that saw the public electrocution of an elephant and the invention of the electric chair.
Playstation vs. Nintendo
In 1988, Nintendo wanted to find a cheaper and more efficient gaming system, so they partnered with Sony to create a CD-ROM drive for the SNES called the PlayStation. After years of development and unresolved negotiations on how revenue would be split, Nintendo made a move that would drastically change the gaming industry forever. In 1991, the day after the announcement of a Sony/Nintendo PlayStation, Nintendo announced it would be breaking its partnership with Sony to partner with Phillips. Furious, Sony president Norio Ohga ordered the continued production as a standalone system focused on 3D graphics called the PlayStation. It would become the first game console to sell 100 million units and later become the dominant leader in the gaming industry.
Apple vs. Microsoft
Early on, Apple and Microsoft were close partners. Microsoft even developed the applications for the Macintosh GUI. The relationship was so close that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates even double-dated together during what must have been the most awkward nerd dates of all time. When Microsoft suddenly released its own GUI Windows, Apple finally realized what had happened: Microsoft had been secretly copying the Macintosh GUI for years. Window’s success would be astronomical, making Gates the richest man in the world. Apple, on the verge of bankruptcy in 1997, was forced to accept the “Microsoft Deal” that would land them a humiliating $150 million investment from Microsoft. The iPod was released four years later and Apple has been wiping their ass with money ever since.
Lamborgini vs. Ferrari
Ferruccio Lamborghini was a successful Italian manufacturer of tractors with big love of sports cars. Unsatisfied with the quality of his Ferrari 250GT, Lamborghini had his mechanics take a look at his car and found his Ferrari had the same clutch that his tractors did. After requesting a meeting with owner Enzo Ferrari about using such poor quality parts in such an expensive machine, he was dismissed as a lowly tractor-maker. Lamborghini was so insulted he became determined to create a better sports car than Ferrari. Lamborghini shifted his operations into the manufacturing of sports cars. Four months later, Lamborghini unveiled his first sports car, the 350GTV, at the Turin Motor Show.
Puma vs. Adidas
Rudolf and Adolf Dassler, Adi for short, were brothers from a small town in Germany. In 1924, they started a shoe company called Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory and found great success. It wasn’t until WW2 that the brothers’ lifelong rivalry would begin. During an allied bombing raid, Adi’s family climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf’s family were already in. “The dirty bastards are back again,” Adi said, referring to the Allies. Rudolph misheard this and was convinced his brother meant his family. The brothers would split their company with Rudolph starting Ruda (Rudolf Dassler) which would rename to Puma and Adi started Adidas (Adi Dassler). Years later, millions of football hooligans will march through the streets of Europe in their matching Puma and Adidas attire, with destruction not seen since the times of Genghis Khan.