The New Bazaar


When innovation arrives too early

Season 1, Ep. 37

This week, we're sharing an episode from our friends over at Cautionary Tales. On the show, Tim Harford tells tragic stories from the past, pointing out the valuable lessons in the greatest mistakes, disasters and fiascos. 

This episode tells the story of Sir Clive Sinclair, a computer whizz and business mogul to rival Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. He was a visionary who could do no wrong... until he tried to launch an electric vehicle. The C5 “electrically assisted pedal cycle" doesn't seem so outlandish to us now... but 1985 just wasn't ready for the "aerodynamic bathtub" on wheels. Sir Clive was ridiculed and his business ruined. How did it all go so wrong?

You can listen to more episodes of Cautionary Tales at

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