b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Biggest opportunity I've blown » Page 1 | Search
This is a question Biggest opportunity I've blown

Not Alan Partridge tells us: "I was once offered the chance to co-present a programme on national radio. Audience of millions, but blew up spectacularly, my entire contribution being the rustling of paper in the background. I was that bad, I have since burned my copy of the pilot show." Tell us about your big break, and how you messed it up.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:22)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Not the biggest but the most recent...
I was asked to be interviewed for Channel Four news on Sunday but couldn't be arsed to go to them and they couldn't get a camera crew to the South Coast in time - Meh.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 19:10, 7 replies)
The world's stupidest idea.
An ex-colleague emailed me to ask if I wanted to join him on to work on a new e-commerce application he was involved in. The client was a once trendy tech company that had seen better days. In the post dot-com crash I was interested in any work that was happening even if the clients finances were distinctly wobbly. But this wasn't any e-commerce system, it would only sell you stuff if you had the right hardware. If you didn't have an approved device it wouldn't let you connect, so you couldn't even see what was for sale let alone purchase anything.

I thought it the stupidest idea ever. What was the point of a system that purposefully turned away the vast majority of potential customers? Shaking my head in disbelief at another daft idea dreamed up by a clueless MBA,I declined the offer. And that is how I managed not to become a lead developer on the project that would become iTunes and managed not to join Apple when it was at its lowest ebb.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 18:27, 4 replies)
I missed the opportunity to win heaps of money at the bookies and on the stock market because I didn't have any knowledge of future events.
If I could do it all over again it would be very different.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 18:10, 2 replies)
there were chocolate eclairs in the fridge before
i said i'd get one later.
now they're all gone.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 18:03, 7 replies)
I think I've posted this before
ages back I got an email from a nice man who'd seen some real-time music visualisation stuff I'd written, asking if I could help them play video in real-time to music they were making.

As a student, this sounded like actually doing something rather than sleeping to 11am, so I said no.

They went ahead anyway, and made this:
youtube video

I am an idiot.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 18:01, 6 replies)
I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
and saw it through, without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step, along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows, I took the blows and did it my way
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 17:59, 7 replies)
I once had the chance to go about someone's bins.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 17:29, 8 replies)
Oddly, this is a question where I have mulitple disasters of business and personal opportunities
involving lack of the belief in the future and a move from functioning alcoholic to non-functioning. I love booze!

1) Turned down UK master distribution for TomTom back in the day, gps antennae, laptop, software - too cumbersome. Perhaps they could look at a simpler delivery system and GBTM.
2) Too upset now. Upset on the memories, who needs internet.
3) Did not do the carousel VAT fraud which various people were getting v. rich from and I remained out of jail.

Mentioned before I think, turned down an A&R role what a hoot that could have been. If only I had fully understood the excesses of the recording industry, still I am alive and not in jail.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 17:24, 14 replies)
I once saw Alexei Sayle in the northbound car park of Keele Services on the M6.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 17:22, 5 replies)
When I graduated I was all lined up to do a doctorate in fluid dynamics. My potential supervisor had a crazy idea about blasting DNA and drugs into cells on the surface of tiny particles and wanted someone to do the fluid modelling. At the last moment - my name was already on an office door - I decided to do something else quite different, which turned out disastrously.

And the first project? Google "Powderject" and see where that went. My potential supervisor, and the chap who took over my project, buy new Lamborghinis every time the petrol tank gets empty to save the bother of filling up ...
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 17:12, 2 replies)
A short, dull list:
- on announcing that I was quitting university and returning home, my then employers offered me a full-time, department manager position. Who knows what dizzy heights of high street retail, I could have risen to?
- turned down an IT job offer, on the grounds that the company was based in Stevenage. Seriously, fuck Stevenage.
- turned down the opportunity to front a band, whilst at university. Probably wouldn't have led anywhere, but I regret saying "no".
- women who have told me that they would have quite liked to have slept with me. Why couldn't they have been more forward at the time?
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 17:08, 5 replies)
Why would you turn this down!? You idiot.
Back in the late 90s and early noughties, younger DinivanX had a big old corporate drive thing going on. I'd started my own company in Uni, sold it for a nice profit, done a load of cool* things in eCommerce (* not cool, just innovative at the time) and worked for a load of huge companies and won a few awards, all before the age of 23. Get me.

At the time my one and only passion was music and to be precise, I had a massively snobby attitude to it and would only entertain even vaguely liking bands which no-one else had heard of, along with a back catalogue of classic "poncey hipster" (well they would be now, no-one had invented hipster back then, thank god, but I had the glasses, the courdrouys and the tweed jacket in 2000 ...all got ditched before it became popular of course) albums.

I decided to quit my 9-6 and go it alone to start another company, this time an online games company and I looked for funding to support the development I wanted to do with the gaming system I had bought the rights to.

About two weeks into me putting together a full business plan a guy who I had worked with a couple of times phoned me up (on my swanky flip bottom Matrix Nokia Phone) and asked me if I wanted to be Head of Digital for MTV Europe as they had seen some of the stuff I had done for interactive TV and with web tech. I was disgusted and went into a trademark DinivanX rant! Who the fuck did MTV think they were with their shit pop music, terrible videos and pathetic twat presenters!? Those sell-outs were everything that was wrong with music I told him. I could never work for a company as wrong as theirs. He spluttered a little and said "I'm on speakerphone with the board here, err I guess I'll catch up with you at some other time" and the line went dead. I never heard from him again.

Forward 6 months and my games company had failed to get any funding and was dead in the water. My meagre savings had evaporated and I was back to looking for a crap 9-6 but the internet bubble had popped and suddenly senior jobs for cocky young things weren't quite the two a penny they were in the late 90s and lots of competition was on the market, quite a lot of it nowhere near as arrogant as me. I even had to move back in with my folks for a bit, bringing me right down to earth.

Still wonder what would have happened if I wasn't such a dick.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 17:00, 4 replies)
I could pun this but it's more than I'd want to admit to.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 16:57, Reply)
Fairground Ride Terror
In a bid to prove to my friends I wasn't scared of being thrown around at great velocities, I boarded a platform ride that swirled around on one axis. It was the tamest ride in the amusement park, and it's maximum height was 3 metres. With approximately 30 onlookers (mostly parents of the content young children sitting either side of me) I screamed instantly. Loudly. 20seconds later the operator stopped the ride and told me to get off because I was scaring the other kids.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 16:34, 2 replies)
When I was fresh out of university and jobseeking, I flitted through a series of uniformly menial temp jobs, some involving languages. One day I got a call from one of my recruiters saying a French translation firm was looking to set up a branch in London but wanted to start small, with one person manning the phones, taking orders, placing orders, doing the accounts and maybe doing a bit of translation themselves if they had the time. This recruiter thought I would be the right man for the job.

I turned him down because I knew nothing about accounting, my experiences with project management had been stressful in the extreme and it sounded like I would be working an 80-hour week for well under an 80-hour-a-week salary.

Years later I got a temp-to-perm position in a small translation firm run by a husband-and-wife team, but she was the only one in the office until I arrived, as he worked in the City. There were two people in the company when I started, and now there are over 200. They have offices in New York, Germany and even Australia.

So I was basically given the opportunity and funding to run my own start-up. Granted, most of the money would have gone to the parent company, but it might have gone huge and I could be sitting at the head of a global empire by now. Alternatively, I might have been cack at running and office and might have left after six months. I still wonder what would have happened, though.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 15:35, 3 replies)
When I was younger a local neighbourhood kid had caught autism. This manifested itself in him being terrified of dogs. He was loathe to trust them and found them abhorrent.

One summer day he was out playing with a broom when a Greyfriars Bobby wandered over. The boy became energetically unusual. Crying. Spinning round and round. Slapping his head Babbitt style. Hilarious.

His mum decided this was the perfect chance to cure him of autism and told him "don't be scared. He's harmless. Stroke him."

With the old autism instantly fixed he confidently ruffled the dogs hair and called it a good lad.
The dog wasn't having that and bit him on the guts.

Disaster. It cranked the autism back up to eleven. Instantly lousing up the kids chance of ever going to a normal school. Sensing this, the young chap hit back. By hitting back. He punched the dog right in the heart, embarrassing it in front of all of us.

So autistic children and dogs. There is good and bad on both sides but it's rarely ever the children that get put down. Fuck you John Major.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 15:19, 4 replies)
[sensational title]
[lies which say that I'm excellent enough to have had an absurdly good opportunity presented to me, but unfortunate enough that circumstances forced me to have to miss out through no fault of my own]

[some final sentence which will make everyone flatter and commiserate me]
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 15:18, 7 replies)

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 15:11, 3 replies)
I once had an offer to appear on Jim'll Fix It.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 15:06, 2 replies)

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:57, Reply)
I was offered the opportunity to produce 'Gangnam Style'
but thinking that the lyrics were bollocks, and knowing that fish are popular with Asians, wanted to change the name of the song to tuna tea. As it was thought to be a bit racist, the job of producer went elsewhere.

A very big blown opa tuna tea.

No, YOU fuck off.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:52, 2 replies)
[massive drugs threesome panhandle puke story]

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:42, 2 replies)
Ron Jeremy

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:38, 1 reply)
So I might as well drag this one out again, as I will never tire of regretting it:
I was 17, she was 17, we were going out. We fooled around an awful lot, but she said she was saving herself for marriage.

One evening, she lay across me, wearing only my shirt, completely unbuttoned, and whispered to me as she bit my ear "Screw me ... "

Having two older sisters who had instructed me to be careful when I came of age that I didn't make a girl feel used and dirty, and thinking of myself as an honourable young gentleman, I refused.

So she dumped me.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:35, 14 replies)
Is there a prize for fourth?
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:28, 1 reply)
Not coming on the site a minute earlier.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:26, Reply)

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:25, 2 replies)

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:25, 1 reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1