The Ferengi were initially set up as the new big villain for TNG, but their first appearance in "The Last Outpost" was nothing short of a disaster. They were meant to be a villain for the 80s: the ultimate capitalists in contrast to the humanism and post-scarcity utopia of the Federation. Greedy, selfish, gold mongering, sexist, aggressive and cannibalistic. In their first appearance, they were comical feral gerbils. Instead, they were abandoned, and replaced by the Borg. The Borg were a contrast to the heart and soul of humanity: no individualism, and technology unifying with biology and removing what it means to be human. That was more deeply troubling than the rather superficial "they're greedy and mean" angle of the intended Ferengi. In a way, I think Maurice Hurley, in creating the Borg, was also using what he saw as the "wacky doodle" problems of TNG season 1: no individualism, no personal goals, no personalities, and no ambitions outside of the collective whole. But could the Ferengi have been a good villain, had they been handled differently? And what would that have meant for the series?