Friday, February 12, 2010

Reasons companies failed ?

We see companies started mostly the same way and become successful as smooth as it went with a  "marketable" idea. Such an idea has to be driven by passion and not just special skill or tactic alone. It provides a business its energy to get going and with cash and experience, these are valuable assets to drive success, but in most cases those were not there at the beginning. Apple, Microsoft, Google and many others were all started by 20-somethings with no experience in big business and no deep pockets of money. Venture entrepreuner will tell you, the number of failures or marginal successes among startup companies greatly outnumber the home runs. Like a shock from a defibrillator, a personal and visceral crusade is what jump-starts a company from a daydream to something tangible. But passion can only get a company so far. The reason the some of new businesses fail in just a few years is that to bring a vision to life, a company needs structure without it would lead to sure doom. You need good systems, processes and experience human resource to allow an organization to thrive on something beyond the passion. For those few founders who know how to build structure, their companies will not only survive; they will grow. But for a structure to continue to grow, that passionate crusade is still needed ... and that is what leaves a company after its founder moves on.

For some lucky ones with successes, their leaders become obsessed with the results forget why the company was founded in the first instance. The original strategies were developed to provide for the cause and the results measured with the progress. When the cause is forgotten, strategies are developed only to advance the results.  It is not the departure of the key leader or founder that triggers the decline, but it is the failure to properly articulate that original cause, the inability to extract the "Why" from the person and build it into the core of the company.

For many successful entrepreneurs, the big house, fancy cars and big pay packet are great, but many complain that it doesn't "feel" like it used to. For the few organizations that are able to keep the passion and the cause alive enough to grow to gigantic proportions, it is the ability to keep that sense of purpose clear that eludes them. Regardless of the measurable success achieved, many entrepreneurs long for that same excitement they had when they made a fraction of the money and worked in a basement with a handful of their friends and people completely devoted to a common pursuit.

  The reason the companies are at risk is because they all have founder/leaders who have either just left or will likely leave in the not-too-distant future. Steve Jobs left in the mid-eighties to the detriment of his company and sends shivers down shareholders' spines every time he shows up on stage ten pounds lighter. Bill Gates, an optimist devoted to helping people be more productive so they can achieve their greatest potential, has decided to move on from "a PC on every desk" to helping Africa and other nations realize their own potential by overcoming disease. His cause is the same. His market place and his products are different.

Business leaders are more prepared than ever to test, tweak and redesign their core activities. In fact, business models are changing as often as product designs. So are partnerships, revenue models and whole host of core business decisions. It is very similar to the way designers keep improving products in light of customer experiences and preferences.  Successful innovators, we found, are ones that use hard information to understand customer expectations earlier and more thoroughly than their competitors. They also use it to establish priorities for their businesses, to model the end results based on differing views and finally to configure or tune their businesses while still relying on existing plans. Just as today's smart phones can be quickly updated and improved with new software downloaded over the air, business models need to be tested and revised to suit the vast customer requirements.

Successful business innovators are always aligned with what their customers value. Lining up all aspects of their operations with customer values allows them to anticipate and act on the need for change before competitors do.

Aligning itself with customer values such as convenience is also important. Adaptability to fast-changing conditions in the industry has to remain at the core of the operating model. Instead, it would focus on finding partners that could embed the software in a wide range of existing devices, including game consoles.

The characteristics of analytics, alignment with customers and adaptability are some of the business model innovation.  Adaptability is able to bring about change by creating flexible operations that can be quickly modified without requiring massive overhauls of ongoing processes.
Analytical, which makes possible the aligning with customers and swiftly adapting. In today's interconnected world, there is no way to make quick enough moves to keep revenue growing without making the most of new streams of intelligence for immediate feedback and alerts.

Successful business model innovators use massive quantities of data, from both inside and outside their organizations, in creating their innovative business models. They combine insight and foresight to be able to understand new opportunities and the potential impact of new technologies, emerging customer segments and new sets of product or service capabilities.

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