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Alex Smertcov

Professor Guenzel

ENC 1102

19 April 2019

The Road to Failure

Companies enter and exit the market frequently. Seeing a company fail is a very common

occurrence. This is because there is so much competition and just because a product is made that

people want doesn’t mean that it is a product that will sell and that also doesn’t mean that you

will have a successful company that will make millions. In fact, the chances of starting a

company that succeeds is very slim. Only about 30 percent of companies make it past two years.

There are many reasons for this. A company is very intricate and there are many things that can

go wrong. The layers that are involved in a business is extensive. Not only does a product or

service need to be made, there also needs to be a way to mass produce it. The reason a business

fails mainly involves the failure to communicate with both the customer and workers inside a

company.

Finding people to work for you or a complex to produce your product is not an easy task.

You also have to find a way to advertise the product or service to the masses. Just because

people would love and enjoy the product or service, doesn’t mean they will find it on their own.

There needs to be a way to reach your target audience or customers that would be interested so

that they see what the product or service is so that then they can decide if they would like to buy

it or not. This is called marketing and it’s one of the most crucial aspects of a company. On top

of these aspects of a business, there’s also the innovators of a company. You’ve found a product

or service that people love, you’ve marketed to the people well and people love it, great, but now
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there’s a chance people will get disinterested. There’s a chance another company will come up

with something better that steals you customers. That’s why the innovators are involved. They

make sure they come up with the latest and greatest so that they stay ahead of the business game.

They make sure no company can catch up to them so that they can stay on top. This is great but

now that an idea is made, how can you make it a reality? That’s where the engineers of a

business come in. The innovators are the creative ones while the engineers are the ones that

make it happen. Their expertise allows them to understand what to do and what it takes to make

an idea come to reality. They can also tweak the idea to make it more practical making sure it

will work in the final product. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the entrepreneurs. The ones that

run business decisions and know the ins and outs of what it takes to succeed. And lastly, there

are the financial people that take care of the money aspect of the company. Anything from taxes

to stocks they can handle. All these people involved in a business is a lot. It can be difficult to

deal with a company when there are so many aspects that have to go right. The one major issue

the communication between all these branches of a company. Not only do all these sections have

to work but they also have to be willing to effectively communicate with each other. A major

part of a company is the communication between experts inside like the way an engineer

communicates with the entrepreneurs. If a business fails, it is plausible that it’s because people

within the company cannot see eye to eye and a collaborative consensus on business decisions

cannot be made making the company suffer with either bad decisions or for being slow making

the decisions.

Another reason for company failure is the Rhetorical Situation. As time passes, situations

that brought customers might expire making people have less desire or interest in that business.

One example could be a change in weather can affect the sale of clothing. If it gets hot outside,
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the environment changes, so sales in jackets drastically drops. This again takes a look at

innovation. As the situation changes, so should the product or service. Innovation isn’t solely

represented by new devices, ideas or methods, but also by the process of uncovering new ways to

do things. It can also pertain to modifying business models and adapting to changes to achieve

better products and services. Innovation is achieved by providing something original and is often

seen to produce efficiency, leading to an idea that significantly affects the general society. In the

past year, the United Kingdom’s Hampshire County has implemented an innovative approach to

road repair and maintenance. Originally, highway maintenance crews were forced to visit

individual production plants before starting road repairs in order to collect fresh, hot asphalt

materials. This not only used up valuable time, but also led to wasted material because of

particular temperature requirements. Innovation sparked an idea to develop a mobile unit that

mixes the key road-surface ingredients on-site, resulting in more efficiency. This method costs

about the same, saves the company and crews time, and the repairs are completed sooner for

residents. Notice how compelling and effective this is for anyone who drives on these streets.

Because of these ideas, the business was able to benefit from it and it may allow for their success

in the future thanks to the innovation. Innovation is so important because it gives them an edge in

the race that is the market which can lead to huge opportunities going forward. Innovation also

gives the company confidence. After going at the same thing for so long you can start to go even

slower and your confidence can decrease, but when a new idea comes along, excitement in the

office can get things moving along again, boosting everyone’s confidence, and improving

chances of success. “Aside from products, innovation can also pertain to new services, business

models, processes and functions. Companies such as Google and Starbucks have implemented

game-changing innovations in small ways that add to the big picture. Notice Starbucks doesn’t
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do small, medium and large cups. They have their own language such as grande and venti. They

even have their own payment app designed with PayPal. If you use Google, you may start with

search but end up using Google Docs or Google Hangouts. As a professor and trainer who

teaches a series of innovation and creativity programs, I can tell you from observation that

innovation is not for geniuses working alone. It is a group activity and is definitely a teachable

skill.”(Henderson).

Another issue is the fact that within companies, workers can’t communicate with each

other. With all the different sections of a company it can be difficult to have everyone

collaborate with each other to make sure everyone is on the same page. It’s important for a

system to be in place to effectively get everyone involved in the company to communicate what

they are doing with everyone else. Another aspect of this is the fact that people don’t always

believe in the same things or some people may agree with a decision and others may disagree

causing nothing to get done. Additionally, there can be a loss of trust too. Trust is very important

in a company because this will prevent the most effective way of working. There can be so much

disagreeing that fighting can happen making progress stand still. “Some organizations say they

want employees to give feedback, to pass on ideas for new products or services, to pass on cost-

cutting ideas, to pass on flagrant violation of policies, to let senior management know how to

improve things in general. But that’s only in theory — or at least, that’s the way it sounds to

employees. No quick, easy system is in place to communicate those ideas anonymously. And

that system doesn’t have to be elaborate. If you’re a small business, you as leader can just make

it clear that you are comfortable with responding to email. Another option is to gather feedback

through free or paid survey software. Still another option is to arrange for one of your suppliers
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to collect suggestions via email through their email server and feed them back to you

anonymously”(Booher).

Apple became the first American company to reach a value of one trillion Dollars

although recently they’ve lost approximately four hundred billion dollars. I think taking a look at

what happened and why the company is on a downfall would be very interesting. Smartphone

sales overall have been slowing down but I want to take a deeper look into what’s really going

on. How can the way the company is communicating be affecting the downfall? What changes in

the rhetorical situation are causing problems? Could it be that Steve Jobs isn’t here to lead the

company? “Apple is arguably one of the most transformative companies today. From the first

Apple computer in 1976 to the 2016 iPhone 7, the company has been consistently moving

forward. And the company has founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, to thank.

The No. 1 reason Apple has seen such extraordinary success, according to a growth strategy

consultant? A history of innovation”(Umoh). Steve Jobs was a genius. He was arguably one of

the best entrepreneurs in the world. One of the reasons Apple was so successful was because of

him. In 1985 Jobs left Apple leaving the company to make decisions without him. What

happened while he was gone turned out to be one of the most fatal years of Apples history. The

company was on the brink of bankruptcy. The issue was that the focus of the company was lost

and they were getting disorganized with what they wanted to do. Jobs eventually did come back

to the company and knew of this issue. He eventually decided to drop a large amount of costly

projects that strayed away from one main focus. His goal was to make everything more

organized so that everyone was on the same page and so that communication in the workplace

would improve. This was a very good decision by Jobs because the company released the iMac

in 1998 which is now known as one of the most successful and impactful products Apple has
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ever released. Today, Jobs is no longer with us. The company is starting to see the same issues it

had back in 1985. The focus is becoming disorganized with all the different product Apple has.

Because the company is doing so many different things at once, it’s becoming hard for them to

focus on one thing and to do that one thing right and to the absolute best of their abilities. The

disorganization is creating confusion in the company and communication is suffering because of

it. Apple is a good example to look at when talking about why companies fail because they’ve

failed many times before. While they managed to bounce back, this still shows us some excellent

information because we can take and study these failures and see what went wrong. Apple shows

that it is evident that the cause of a business to fail is extensive and there are many different

reasons but one of the main ones is simply communication.

Companies are extremely difficult to manage because the list of things that can go wrong

is extensive. Any small decision can throw everything off schedule, causing more challenges to

overcome. Especially because there is a large amount of people involved in making a successful

business work. All areas of work in a company need to be able to work together and collaborate

effectively and efficiently to succeed. Communication is one of the main reasons businesses fail

and making sure everyone is able to not only communicate with people inside the company, but

also the audience they are trying to reach or the target consumer.
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Works Cited

Booher, Dianna. “Why Don't People Communicate Up in an Organization?” HuffPost,

HuffPost, 23 Mar. 2017, www.huffpost.com/entry/why-dont-people-communica_b_9521808.

Henderson, Theodore. “Why Innovation Is Crucial To Your Organization's Long-Term

Success.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 6 Mar. 2018,

www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/05/08/why-innovation-is-crucial-to-your-

organizations-long-term-success/#5f9fed6c3098.

Umoh, Ruth. “The No. 1 Reason Apple Has Been so Successful Can Be Traced to Steve

Jobs.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 Sept. 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/07/13/the-no-1-reason-apple-has-

been-so-successful-can-be-traced-to-steve-jobs.html.