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Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:00:00 GMT | By Max Nisen, Business Insider
15 lessons from the greatest business failures of all-time

Learn to say no to a quick buck

LA Gear (© Courtesy LA Gear)
  • LA Gear, Mattel's Barbie and Kmart (© Courtesy LA Gear; Solent News/Rex Features)
  • The website is displayed on a computer monitor on June 29, 2011. (© Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
  • R.J. Reynold's 'Premier' cigarettes were not popular with consumers. (© Eric Feferberg/AFP/GettyImages)
  • LA Gear (© Courtesy LA Gear)
  • Entrepreneur Richard Branson (© Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)
  • Coca-Cola launched New Coke in response to the Pepsi Challenge. (© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
  • Netscape founder Mark Andreesen made the mistake of ignoring his company's main success, its Internet browser. (© Courtesy of Computer History Museum)
  • A scratched and worn Caterpillar logo. (© Richard Carson/Files/Reuters)
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Learn to say no to a quick buck

The CEO of LA Gear grew his company from $11 million to $820 million in sales in just four years by focusing on unique, fashionable shoes that were expertly marketed. But chasing three high-dollar opportunities killed the company. LA Gear sold excess product at deep discounts which diminished the brand, invested heavily outside of their core competency in basketball shoes, and offered low-end shoes at Wal-Mart. The CEO couldn't stop chasing money, and the company paid the price for it. 

The ability to say "no" to what looks like a lucrative opportunity is one of the most important traits a leader can possess.

* Bing: LA Gear makes a comeback

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