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4. Netflix backs off Qwikster split
Netflix remains one of the most popular Internet streaming services to date. But one decision led the company's boss Reed Hastings to retreat from a service spin-off that had customers screaming at their television sets.
The plan was simple: split the company in half to create Qwikster, a DVD-by-mail service, so that it can focus on its bread-and-butter, Netflix, as its main online video service. That angered customers and investors, which saw the firm's share price plummet even further, not long after its stock suffered following a price increase.
But three painful weeks later, Hastings backtracked on the plan. A year later, things are back to normal for the company. More so, in fact: the streaming service is booming in the U.S. market as well as internationally, adding more than 1 million customers each quarter.
5. HP decides against ditching PC business
When a company announces it's looking at "strategic alternatives" for a division or the whole corporate package, that's industry geek-speak for a spin-off or a sale. When computer maker HP announced it would do exactly that with its PC building division back in 2011, Wall Street was lost for words.
The firm, which at the time was run by chief executive Leo Apotheker, said it would restructure the company to ditch the PC unit as well as its mobile platform webOS. The upshot was it would acquire enterprise firm Autonomy to all but offset the shift in company priorities.
Apotheker was fired not long after. Out with the old, in with the new. Meg Whitman was replaced in the top job, and, actually, back in with the old, as she decided to reverse the PC sell-off decision and return the company back to its PC making former glory.
The bottom line for Whitman: it was too costly to spin off the unit, and without PCs and printers, HP just wouldn't be itself anymore.
6. GoDaddy supports, then opposes proposed anti-piracy law
When the vast majority of the top Silicon Valley tech giants come out in opposition of an anti-piracy law that basically resulted in a huge portion of the Internet shutting its doors for the day in protest, you can all but bet there will be one falling way, way behind.
Enter GoDaddy, the domain and Web hosting company, which came out in support of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Had it passed Congress, it would've allowed rights holders (and fraudsters) file claims that could result in websites shuttering, based on loose claims they allegedly infringe copyright. "Allegedly" was enough of a reason to protest the bill. But for all intents and purposes, SOPA was an Internet censorship bill.
Following extreme criticism and opposition to the company's move, GoDaddy quickly reversed its position — not least to try and get back the hundreds of thousands of customers it lost in the process as a result, including Wikipedia. The company said the bills had "not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet community."
In other words: nobody supported it — for good reason — and neither will GoDaddy.