In business good ideas do not always succeed. In 1948 automotive entrepreneur Preston Tucker advertised a mass-produced futuristic car but only fifty-one were produced. While the care featured some safety and technological innovations, the company -- undercapitalized and poorly managed -- failed.
Preston Tucker, 1903-1956
Visionary and charismatic, Tucker helped excite the nation about the prospect of his "Car of Tomorrow." He channeled post-World War II desire for innovative design and new technology but failed to raise enough capital for successful production. His dream was dashed by bad management, investigations of financial fraud, and ultimately bankruptcy.
Founding an automobile manufacturing company was expensive. Undercapitalized, Preston Tucker turned to creative financing. He sought venture capital, offered stock, sold dealerships, and pre-sold accessories. The last two acts brought him to the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The government indicted Tucker and six other company executives. They were eventually found innocent but, disgraced in the press, the company had already failed.