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TECH TALK: When Things Go Wrong: Why Failure Happens (Part 2)

April 15th, 2005 · No Comments

No Profit Engine: Entrepreneurs tend to jump on to the next new thing even before theyve got a solid foothold into the marketplace. This happens because they are enamoured by the ideas and the belief is that thinking about the problem is as good as solving it! They thus fail to build a profit engine, which can be the foundation for future growth.

Diffused Focus: Entrepreneurs tend to be creative people and have a different view of the world. They are fascinated by new ideas. As a result, the focus on the present can get reduced and diffused. Focus is critical for an early-stage venture, and this is not something an entrepreneur can delegate. It is the entrepreneurs mind which knows what needs to get done and can navigate with a compass, rather than a map. But, a laser-like focus is needed on ensuring that the first product succeeds and can be converted into a profit engine.

Analysis Paralysis: When things start going wrong, entrepreneurs tend to go into a frame of mind which causes them to over-analyse the situation. As a result, decisions which need to be made quickly for the course correction dont happen and the situation worsens. An entrepreneurs brilliant and analytical mind can, at times like these, become a liability. This is where an entrepreneur needs external sounding boards people who will hold a mirror to the reality of the business.

No Accountability: Entrepreneurs feel that they are a law unto themselves and they can do no wrong. They think they know it all and others dont have the context to understand either the market or the business. This supreme feeling of confidence can lead to a lack of accountability. Every entrepreneur needs some checks and balances and this is unlikely to come from within the organisation.

An entrepreneur is one by choice. Even when things go wrong, few will walk away. They will instead hang on there and fight it out. In most cases of failure, it is probably a combination of factors which leads the entrepreneur to go wrong. Recognition of the failure is the first step towards getting back on track. Entrepreneurs dont force themselves into failure and yet, it is their actions which can threaten the business. It is times like these that test the mettle of the entrepreneur.

No amount of theory can guide a business. At the end of the day, it is an entrepreneurs gut that will guide the business. There will be ups and downs in fact, there will be more downs than ups over the course of the early days of the business. For an entrepreneur, each day is different with its own set of challenges. Each day, the entrepreneur works towards reducing the risk of failure. Yet, at times, some of these very steps can push a business deeper into the mire.

This is the ultimate reality game. One, which needs to be played, to be experienced. One, in which the journey itself is the ultimate prize. It is a journey where failure is the ultimate teacher. Failure is bound to happen. What the entrepreneur does when things go wrong is the real litmus test that decides how successful the business and the entrepreneur — becomes.


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