Off the top of my head, here's some real-life choices of business significance that I recall, involving hardware and (a little) software:
- Apple uses high quality pieces in some situations, and low quality pieces in other situations, depending on its targeted market.
- Microsoft and IBM went with making hardware a commodity - Microsoft won, and IBM lost, and Intel road that wave to incredible heights.
- Netscape was trying to make web browsers a commodity (to sell server hardware) until they got confused, lacked cohesive plans, and got kicked in the butt by Microsoft's bundling.
- AOL wanted to make services cheap to sell monthly internet subscriptions, faced revolt from indie game developers, wisely ignored the revolt, merged with Time Warner, didn't know what the heck they were doing, and were then trying to make make services cheap and sell services, and make internet subscriptions cheap and sell internet subscriptions, lacking clear goals.
- Cray Supercomputers crashed and burned when they flipped and flopped in whether to use commodity pieces and embrace microprocessing, or whether to double-down on custom super-computer designs, taking one of computing's best minds with it when it went down.
- A decade later, Apple made the same mistake, investing huge sums of money into the Lisa computer which was over-featured for the hardware of that day, and thus overpriced, and was also competing against its cheaper and better products (Like the Mac) that rival teams within its own company made.
- Microsoft and Sony pushed different competing disc mediums using their console install base. Sony was more gutsy, and pulled off a major victory - Microsoft now pays about $3 bucks per Xbone sold to the Bluray committee. But due to uncontrollable consumer trends, Sony hasn't benefited from it as much as they had hoped. It was a brilliant tactic, but almost a pyrrhic victory due to the winds of chance or the wims of consumers.
- And Microsoft's not too annoyed about Bluray licensing fees, because Microsoft makes more money off of 3rd party Android phones then it does off of its own Windows Phones - billions of dollars from patents. This is despite Microsoft being the best placed company to take advantage of mobile and IoTs, but because of internal fiefdom fighting among Microsoft's royalty executives, Microsoft kills its ideas with greatest potential purely because the manager lost a politics war with another manager.
- At the same time, Microsoft's greatest successes have come because of tiny groups that fought internal Microsoft-wars and forced their visions into reality, such as the Beastie Boys of Microsoft, who forced DirectX into existence by lying to Bill Gates, caused major public-relations problems for Disney, and laid the foundation for the Xbox, but also accidentally contributed to Microsoft's anti-trust lawsuit by trying to strong-arm Apple executives?
- Oh, and did I mention those Beastie Boys directly contributed to id Software's Doom, and indirectly helped kickstart Valve Software? Or that one of the Beastie Boys tried to manipulate the stock market using insider Microsoft knowledge (and lost buttloads of money but was never caught), and that same guy created Google Maps and sold it to Google, using secret undocumented Internet Explorer features that he implemented in Internet Explorer before leaving Microsoft?
- And the Xbox itself was spearheaded by an unpopular game designer who's previous game product for another company was a well-publicized disaster?
- Apple switched from PowerPC to x86 because PowerPC failed to grow in processing power as fast as Apple (and IBM and Samsung, iirc) had hoped.
- Intel failed to take into account smartphone and tablet success, and now is playing second-fiddle to ARM in that market, failed to bring 64 bit computing in time, and was forced to adopt their rival's, AMD's, designs after it gained more market share?
- And who created their major rival AMD anyway? Wasn't it Intel themselves that chose that tiny AMD company to win a contract with IBM, and then watched in horror as AMD grew faster and larger than Intel had planned, cutting deals to manufacture Intel's processors for companies that Intel would've got the contracts for?
- Dell pioneered the made-to-order PC customization market, and rode that to success... but then failed to adapt quickly enough to economy of sales, so was undercut in prices on the consumer end, and failed in the customer-service department towards big businesses and so was one-up'd by HP in that market. Now Dell has taken itself back to being privately owned, in the hope of being able to more reflexively respond to future trends (having also missed the mobile game, due to their).
- IBM successfully transitioned from hardware to consulting and researching, and reaped big. Hewlett-Pacqard (HP) recently tried to do the same, but lacked the guts to go all-in when their stockholders questioned them on it.
And this is to say nothing of Siemens, Oracle, AT&T, Texas Instruments, DEC, Pixar (did you know they made and sold computers? And were ran by Steve Jobs who incrementally took the entire company over, piece by piece) and dozens of other companies, with rich histories, and amazing choices that sent them from the gutter to the peaks to the gutters again.
A hundred business choices (or failing to realize a choice was even required) toss dozens of multi-billion dollar businesses up and down in this nearly trillion-dollar industry (software + hardware combined). To quote a famous Intel founder and CEO, "Only the paranoid survive". History is stranger, and sometimes more entertaining, than fiction, and there is so much interesting history here, but if you don't know the history, you are hobbling your own creativity and constraining your vision. If you want to pursue a tycoon game with this theme, I'd recommend doing serious reading on the more exciting and enjoyable stories of the computer industry.