By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – To be honest, year-end year-in-review articles can get a little tedious.

It’s a relief when January first finally arrives and you know it’ll be 11 ½ months until you have to suffer through them again.

But a CNN piece about the biggest corporate failures of 2016 did catch my eye, because it offers a blueprint to companies – and, by extension, to each one of us – of the values that accompany success – or, more accurately, the lack of values that foreshadow failure.

Atop CNN’s list was Yahoo, yet another company once billed as a pioneer of digital success that has come unglued. When you have not just one but two massive data breaches in a single year, could it be because you’ve been so busy hyping your bells and whistles that you didn’t take care of business, otherwise known as your customers?

(Photo credit DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Another big corporate failure – Samsung, producers of not just one but two versions of their smartphones that had a disturbing tendency to burst into flame. The company also had to recall millions of washing machines that were at risk of explosion.

Moral of the story – don’t burn your customers.

One of the Samsung washing machines that are at risk of exploding. (WBZ-TV)

One of the Samsung washing machines that are at risk of exploding. (WBZ-TV)

And then there was Wells Fargo, a highly-profitable bank that apparently got so greedy they pressured employees into highly-unethical practices.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The lesson here – don’t get greedy.

So let’s recap – don’t lose sight of what should be your top priority; don’t pose a risk to the personal safety of others; and don’t let your eyes get bigger than your mouth – or your morals.

These seem like words to live by, for individuals as much as for corporations.

Once 2017 gets here, we’ll soon see who did and who didn’t learn the lessons of 2016.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Comments (4)
  1. What’s this, Jon? No lessons to be learned from the media’s coverage of the 2016 election?

    Or is Trump’s victory in spite of your best efforts to throw the election to Hillary Clinton just still that painful for you to recognize your pathetic performance?

    If you want some of your credibility back, you might want to devote an article or two to a genuine mea culpa for your arrogance and blindness.

    Come on now, you can do it. After all, Arthur Sulzberger and Dean Baquet of the New York Times had the integrity to apologize. Why can’t you?

    1. I’m with you on that one Olwe – media bias has reached critical levels as far as I can see. And as much as the Times apologized, I’ve yet to see any improvement in any objective and balanced coverage.

      It looks like the station is on holiday. Not even one article on the UN resolution?!

  2. Where are the articles on the UN Resolution against Israel? Not interested Jon?

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