Price of failure

Yesterday I met some friends over snacks at Candies (in Bandra, do look it up if you are in the area). A friend of mine has recently switched to work as a manager in a reputed firm, and he was overall happy with his job (work from home and all the perks).

Then he said something which sparked off this post, he said the amount of money the firm wastes in their day-to-day activities is insane. At first it seemed as if he was talking about how the organization has money to spare … but then to drive his point home, he gave examples. Inane but true. A lot of us are willing to put in that extra buck just so that everything that can go wrong won’t.

The design has to be perfect, the models have to be dressed in a certain fashion, the product has to be the best. In creating these spaces, we are de-risking ourselves … that’s what I like to tell myself. But are we?

Is the price of failure so high that we don’t take action and let others do what needs to be done? So what’s the price of failure for different people? For a person who has nothing to loose, its zero. A start-up for example can afford to go in some communities and have it misrepresented … its ok, bygones can be bygones for them. But take a Coca Cola or a Pepsi (not that these are the aforementioned organizations), and you suddenly have to think about ten thousand other factors. Not a freeing thought, is it?

Would it help if one could see the price of failure as zero?

5 thoughts on “Price of failure”

  1. When so much is riding on a business/enterprise ( be it time/money/ resources etc) even if it is a start-up, how can anyone see the price of failure at zero? if Understand it right then everything has a ‘value’ tag attached to it.

  2. Price of failure is big for my employers too. The inertia it has due to the huge market share (~60% in US and #1 world wide), makes it difficult to take innovative products to the market quicker. The technology is there, our R&D department is doing a great job, but when it comes to taking the technology to market, we do not leave a single stone uncovered, which results in much longer to-market schedules than say LG and Samsung who also happen to have much more expertise in electronics than us.

  3. Ashish, you got my point. If inertia is the major factor of why you are not doing an action, then stop worrying about the failures, and just do it.

  4. do you recon the airbus A380 and Boeing dreamliner 787 episode? Our professor was discussing the whole issue, Boeing’s 787 though was techincally far better off than A380, since A380 took off first -it gave airbus a huge chunk of market share off Boeing’s rack. Boeing had to struggle to sell off 787s. I think all company’s do consider failure as risk rather than just another outcome of an action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.