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Gotcha! A comedy of errors is only funny when it happens to someone else. Enjoy these tales of start-up blunders-but don't let them happen to you.

By Geoff Williams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Roberto Goizueta, by all accounts, was a swell guy-a philanthropist and a brilliant businessman. But his 1997 obituary, published in newspapers across the country, still made it clear: This was the man who came up with the idea for New Coke.

We're all entitled to mistakes. Goizuetta fixed his, three months later, and he left a fortune of $1.3 billion to his heirs; so after changing the Coca-Cola recipe in 1985 and then changing it back again, he probably didn't spend the rest of his life in complete misery.

But you drink Coke; you don't own it. You don't have $1 billion to fall back on. If you make a big blunder, it could cost you your company. In a few weeks, you might be telling your customers "I'm not sure what toy comes with your Happy Meal. Let me ask my manager."

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