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Tag: failure

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At Issue } essential reading

A “Bad Dream” Can Make for Great New Ideas

Simone Ahuja, Ranjan Banerjee & Neil Bendle
Feb 28, 2014

The CEO of an autonomous region for a multinational called with a problem. “We’re too successful,” he said. “We’re number one in the country, not only within my company but across the entire industry. Take your pick of the metric — profit, market share and customer satisfaction — we win.” So what was the problem? Their current success was due to innovations and strategies put into place three years ago. Since then, everything had just purred along. Given that they were constantly lauded as examples of best practice, he was finding it difficult to motivate the senior managers to innovate for tomorrow’s success.

Why Makers Fail at Retail

Cyril Ebersweiler & Benjamin Joffe
Feb 3, 2014

2014 is starting off with a bang for hardware. The $3.2B acquisition of Nest, a four year old company, is great news for makers. The question is, then, should you be starting a hardware company rather than the next mobile app?

How Your Quest For Perfection Is Killing Your Content Marketing

Mary Ellen Slayter
Oct 25, 2013

We work with lots of companies big and small to develop and execute their content marketing strategies. Each has its own challenges to overcome on the way to connecting with its target audience, which may include time, resources and the competition. In many cases, though, the biggest challenge isn’t financial. It’s psychological.

How Startup Culture Is Killing Innovation

Erika Hall
Sep 11, 2013

Far from being the measure of disgrace it once was, failure now seems to be a sort of badge of honor.

The Death Of Scale: Is Kodak's Failure An Omen Of Things To Come For Corporate America?

Avi Dan
Aug 20, 2013

The lesson of Kodak’s debacle is that scale does not work as well as it used to. It stifles innovation, and leads to excessive corporate atrophy.

The Unexpected Antidote to Procrastination

Peter Bregman
May 10, 2013

Why don't we accept falling — even if it's a failure — as part of the ride?

When Should We Forgive Failure?

May 26, 2010

One caller raised the fascinating issue of forgiveness, raising the legitimate concern that punishing failures like what happened with BP in the Gulf would lead inevitably to people denying responsibility, blaming others, and seeking to hide their failures. She highlighted the importance of allowing people to communicate bad news without fear, as well as learn from their failures. She advocated a culture of openness and forgiveness that would contribute to learning.

When Good Brands Go Bad

Mike Linton
Apr 8, 2010

How does a great brand like Toyota, built over decades, lose its way so quickly? For that matter, how did General Motors stumble? And how about Kmart, Washington Mutual and Circuit City suddenly become irrelevant? One day these companies were global leaders. The next, seemingly, they were flat on their backs, bleeding years of brand building and future sales and profits.

How Palm's Marketing Missed, and How It Plans to Recover

Apr 5, 2010

Last year, Palm had the hottest handset not named iPhone. The Pre was the company's long-awaited Hail Mary -- or at least its best shot to revive the once-storied brand and reclaim a bit of the hand-held market Palm created. Today, the Pre is not selling and nor is its cheaper, lower-end model, the Pixi. The company's stock plunged 30% on a fateful day last month as two analysts cut their price targets to zero and Morgan Joseph & Co. analyst Ilya Grozovsky called Palm "essentially in an accelerating death spiral."

Why People Fail

Mar 26, 2010

I have been putting a lot of thought into why some people succeed and others fail. It’s easy to put success down to luck or natural talent, but while there will always be an element of that, it does not seem to be “the answer”. There seem to be some ingredients that a lot of folks miss. Education is important, but not in the formal qualification sense but more in the continuously learning sense. We tend though to focus just on the knowledge, there is a gap there that needs to be filled and that is where I think the big gains are made.

Brand Flops: Ford, GE, Coca-Cola Know Hype Can Hurt New Products

Laurie Burkitt and Ken Bruno
Mar 22, 2010

The Apple iPad, hitting stores April 3, is one of the most-hyped products in technology history. There is talk that it could revolutionize computing and media. But when it comes to new products, great expectations can doom products that don't measure up to them.

G.M. to Close Hummer After Sale Fails

Nick Bunkley
Feb 25, 2010

General Motors said on Wednesday that it would shut down Hummer, the brand of big sport utility vehicles that became synonymous with the term gas guzzler, after a deal to sell it to a Chinese manufacturer fell apart.

Why Great Companies Fail

Simon Sinek
Feb 11, 2010

"To build a global medium as central to people's lives as the telephone or television ... and even more valuable." This was Steve Case's vision in the early 1990s, and everyone wanted to be a part of it. The company he founded, American Online, was one of the nation's most admired. By turning Internet access into a home utility, AOL became one of the nation's most admired brands and workplaces. It was the Google or the Facebook of its time. Then something happened.

How the AOL-Time Warner Merger Went So Wrong

Tim Arango
Jan 11, 2010

A decade ago, America Online merged with Time Warner in a deal valued at a stunning $350 billion. It was then, and is now, the largest merger in American business history. The Internet, it was believed, was soon to vaporize mainstream media business models on the spot. America Online’s frothy stock price made it worth twice as much as Time Warner’s with less than half the cash flow.

Why Success Often Sows the Seeds of Failure

Jun 9, 2009

In my last post I identified three things that can turn leaders into laggards: the practical difficulties of sustaining above-average performance, the natural obsolescence of once-vital strategies, and the corrosive impact of discontinuous change. Now let me add a fourth: success corrupts.

3 Reasons Super Bowl Ads Failed, And 3 That Worked

Feb 2, 2009

Most marketing blogs the day after the Super Bowl are sharing the same disappointment at the ads and how universally average they were. Meanwhile, some of the best campaigns of the Super Bowl season were efforts launched online or that had a significant online component, but the fact remains that many Super Bowl ads simply didn't work this year. Here's my list not just of the best and worst ads, but some lessons I think any marketer can learn from why the worst ones failed.


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