offering leisure and travel services and the longest surviving are those engaged in providingeducation and health; with manufacturing falling about midway between these two.While the general public may not have a good grasp of these numbers with precision, it would straincredibility to assert that they do not have a general feel for the volatility and the short lifespan of mostbusiness enterprises. In fact, the older and more experienced the individual is, the more reasonableit would be to assume that his understanding of the ephemeral nature of enterprise is improved. It isthus quite possible, if not likely, that an underlying reason for the lack of credibility of cryonics in thatsegment of the population most likely to find it desirable is that that same cohort has the mostexperience with and understanding of the improbability of the very long term (i.e., 100-200 years)survival of any human enterprise. As many scholars and pundits alike have noted, with the exceptionof the Roman Catholic and various branches of the Orthodox Church, few if any institutions havecontinuously endured for millenia. Similarly, institutions that have endured for may centuries, such asuniversities (Oxford and Cambridge come to mind) are typically creatures of nation-states – theother class of entities that have shown endurance in the millennial range. In short, corporations,including NPOs, are short lived creatures that fill a market niche, do their business and then die. In2009, the Japanese business analysis and survey firm Tokyo Shoko Research (a combination of Dunn and Bradstreet and TRW in Japan), conducted an examination of the founding dates of the1,975,620 enterprises in their database.They found 21,666 companies which have existed for over 100 years.
The Bank of Korea conducted a similar evaluation of their database and found thatthere are 3,146 firms founded over 200 years ago in Japan, 837 in Germany, 222 in theNetherlands and 196 in France. There are 7 companies in Japan over 1,000 years old; 89.4% of the companies with over 100 years of history are for profit businesses. However, a closer examination of the history of these long-surviving enterprises reveals that many underwenttakeovers, buyouts and essentially complete restructuring of mission and the nature of the businessthe firms were engaged in – often more than once in their history. Thus the chances of a businessentity (excluding religious and academic institutions) surviving for >100 years is 1.096%..
Survival of businessenterprises in the US by type of business.
In recent years there has been increasedattention paid to why businessesexperience such a high failure rate, andin particular while the early mortality is sopunishingly high.. There have been anumber of academic studies, as well asa variety of failure analysis books writtenby businessmen and assorted“consultants” and “gurus” offering tip andtechniques for avoiding failure.[3-5]Of considerably more relevance is how501c3 non-profit organizations fare over time.
shows the aggregatesurvival of non-profit organizations(NPOs) as a cohort from 1969 to 2008, aperiod of near 40 years. Whilst the earlymortality rate is high, it is not nearly ashigh as is the case for for-profitorganizations. NPOs experience heavymortality over the first decade, with therate of failure slowing considerably over the second decade of life. However, bythe 30 year mark, ~95% of NPOs havefailed. The data presented in