In other words, even in financial terms, it cost more than damages. It may have cost the entire company. They “DeHavailland”’ed their company. Ever heard of DeHavailland? No? That’s probably to do with their 4 successive deintegrating planes that “CEOs have complete trust in.” It just died, as a name. The risk is high.
Yet, fumbled the ball.
They also had a space program, closed it down after their first satellite, which was a success.
Concorde! (With France.)
It goes on an on, I'm sure you have favourite examples.
It's heart wrenching.
Its happening right now too with electric cars and solar electricity - solar has generally been seen as a success with a lot of installations taking us to 3rd place in Europe for solar megawatts despite there being essentially no sun (1), and EV cars are starting to become something actually viable for most people's lives. The government has just announced that the UK is now legally bound to be carbon neutral by 2050... yet the government chose also to revoke funding and support for both solar and EVs and so subsequently update has plummeted (2, 3) right at this vital point.
1 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy_in_the_European_U...
2 - https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/08/solar-in...
3 - https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/new-car-sales-fa...
Marshall plan replaced and thankfully rejected the previous Morgenthau plan - which would have explicitly ruled out any aid to Germany, and actually further destroyed the country.
In a fine bit of statesmanship Marshall plan aid was offered to the Soviets, who rejected it. It was offered in fairness, but in the certain knowledge Stalin would refuse. It would never have got through Congress anyway. :)
The Raspberry Pi is a spiritual successor which I am generally pleased to see. The RPi was I think partly responsible for a real Computer Science curriculum getting back into schools ... I hate to say it but I think it was Michael Gove that made this happen!
This is pretty typical of the UK government's approach to the computer hardware/software industry. Had the first business computer industry in Europe (anyone else remember the LEO line of mainframes?) and a promising software biz, of which only bits remain. (The gaming industry is thriving, but the rest mostly ended up being absorbed by US multinationals. I could speculate that having a common language, in combination with a series of governments who believed in leaving things to the Invisible Hand, and a business culture dominated by accountants, were at the root of the problem ...)
Which kind of speaks to the prevalence of luck over design in favorable outcomes at any macro level. Too many small, randomly whirling bits, and they all need to line up just so.
Royal Aircraft Establishment - merged and amalgamated a dozen times to become DERA - privatised. Now QinetiQ.
Most of the decent research sites are gone now.
I'm going to stop now, it'll get depressing.