Both new entrepreneurs and experienced ones can make mistakes. Particularly, if you are a startup owner or a group leader, every mistake may ruin your motivation and make you feel incapable of leading your organization.
However, there are two positive points you must remember about committing flaws. Firstly, it is likely a chance for you to learn your lessons; as long as your wrong moves hurt no one (including you), you will earn the opportunity to get valuable knowledge and become a more experienced and knowledgeable person. Secondly, everyone makes mistake, including the most well-known businessmen in history.
Netflix has become an unstoppable technological phenomenon with millions of loyal subscribers and increasing stock prices. However, back in 2011, Netflix’s co-founder and Managing Director Reed Hastings made a decision that almost ruined the company, that is declaring that it will shift its DVD-by-mail service to a new one named Qwikster – which could divide the core services, complicating things for users and increasing the price.
He immediately received furious comments from consumers. Consequently, this decision was revoked and Netflix steadily regained the public’s trust. “Was Hastings panic?” you asked. He said: “The most annoying experience was my guilty feelings. I love this company. I can work hard to bring it a success, but I ruined this. Instead of my embarrassment bothering me, it was my own sense of guilt that appears due to committing a major mistake and damaging the love that people give Netflix that makes me feel horrible.”
With the introduction of iOS 6, Apple decided to strongly promote the navigation applications and system of Maps instead of relying on Google Maps. However, the product malfunctioned and gave the wrong direction, resulting in thousands (or even millions) of people being lost in its first launching week.
Apple promotes its brand by launching the best products that have received the best quality check, so this failure was severely damaging to the CEO of Apple Tim Cook. He took full responsibility in Apple’s letter sent to customers: “In Apple, we strive to create the best products internationally to bring the highest experience to customers. With the establishment of Maps last week, we have failed to fulfill our commitment.”
Subsequently, Cook had to consecutively proposed third-party alternatives, such as Google and Nokia, to fulfill the navigation demands of customers.
Richard Branson – the founder of Virgin Group – can be excellent in many sectors, ranging from achieving a record revenue to space travel, but not all of his business ideas are good ones. Back in 1994, despite the major market availability of both Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Branson still attempted to launch Virgin Cola as a competitor of the two brands.
He wrote: “Initially, with Virgin Cola, we were confident that we would surpass Coca-Cola and Pepsi – our main competitors. However, it turns out that we had failed to foresee everything. Declaring a beverage competition with Coke was a crazy idea”. This was surely an immature decision that lacked the considerations of all variables in Branson’s game, but the Virgin Group is still alive and earning its shares of success.
Pixar, the studio behind legendary cartoon movies including Toy Story and Cars, was initially founded as a division of the LucasFilm company of George Lucas. Even though the brand had had the intention to produce fresh and computer-simulated image technology, it still preferred making cartoons.
Lucas, who was the owner at the time, was not interested in this type of movie, and when facing the financial crisis, he decided to sell Pixar to Apple’s founder Steve Jobs for 5 million USD. At that time, cartoony movies did not function well and hardly anybody would have guessed the major changes that cartoons and computer graphics have brought to the film industry. Considering the consecutive chains of success of Pixar, excluding the re-purchasing price of 7.4 billion USD in 2006 of Disney, the 5-million-USD price that Steve Jobs spent on buying Pixar from Lucas is a real bargain.
At the beginning of his career, Masaru Ibuka, the co-founder of Sony used his factory to produce the rice cooker that would serve the daily lives of the Japanese. Theoretically, this was a good idea, as the Japanese consumed much rice and therefore needed a convenient item to cook it. Unfortunately, Ibuka’s rice cooker was terrible, and despite his attempts in improving the design, it was still a major failure.
It forced Ibuka to give up on his desire and start an electronics store in a department store block in Tokyo with only a few employees. Then, with his partner Akio Morita, he created the first recorder in Japan and Sony started to develop strongly.
New startup owners should consider the aforementioned examples. Their mistakes seem to be much bigger than yours, yet they are still earning their success. There is a lesson that you should deduct from this, which is the fact that it is always helpful to look at others’ errors, especially if they triumph after.
It is obvious that you could not change the past, yet it can help you foresee the future. By spending time evaluating what you have done wrong and how you could have adjusted your strategies, you may avoid similar incidents next time.
Making mistakes is a natural part of the growth process of your career and life. It helps you to learn to be humble, to strive for the better, and to better yourself daily. This humbleness will earn you a better relationship with others, as well as assisting you in searching for and learning new lessons every day. There is a consolation, which is the fact that you are not the only person that fails in business, as nobody is perfect, including the most successful billionaire at the time. There are always new things which we can learn.
It is advised that you get motivation and knowledge from the turning-point business mistakes of the entrepreneurs above and do not be depressed when committing a flaw since it is certain that you may create something of yours.