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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

Don't take the bait and allow other companies to define your strategy



Coca-Cola launched New Coke in response to the Pepsi Challenge. (© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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  • LA Gear, Mattel's Barbie and Kmart (© Courtesy LA Gear; Solent News/Rex Features)
  • The Myspace.com 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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Don't take the bait and allow other companies to define your strategy

Coke was lured into one of the greatest business debacles of all time by Pepsi. "Project Kansas," which became New Coke, was sparked by the Pepsi Challenge, which defined Pepsi as the choice of a new generation. Panicked by seeming obsolete, Coke played by Pepsi's rules, was blinded by flawed taste tests and changed its formula. This blunder was called one of the biggest business mistakes of all time.

Leaders know that spending too much time looking over the fence can ignore what made them successful in the first place.   

* Bing: Top selling soda brands

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