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Evoking the failure, it is also a way to prepare your success.

Because each project, before its completion, has a chance of failure and success that is so often difficult to assess, even by the best.

The enthusiasm, the ego, the influence of a group judgment as well as other parameters affect critical thinking of entrepreneurs and/or investors.

For this example, we will try to highlight these through analysis to positively sharpen our critical sense of all of us.

The Segway

This is a revolutionary electric vehicle, on which one stands, the creator Mr Dean KAMEN had proven its high capacity for invention, in particular by creating a portable dialysis machine which was a massive commercial success.

In 1999, more fervent supporters of the Segway were qualified people in their fields and with an extensive experience in business. Among them a certain Mr Steve JOBS but also a historical investor of Google and Mr Jeff BEZOS (AMAZON).

The development has required $ 100 million.

These three investors, like others, were absolutely convinced of the success of this product and invested heavily in what was (or will be) the future of transportation.

Despite a successful product, the story does not go as planned.

The main obstacles to its success;

  • Its price was clearly too high (though the same criticism applies to an Iphone), between 5,000 and 8,000 USD, while there was no pressing need to acquire;
  • The market was not clearly identified and the product was not a solution;
  • Absolute secrecy has surrounded its creation and therefore users could not send their comments/ complaints before the time when the product was completed and ready for sale;
  • The terms of use were not obvious, for instance about
    • Where to park
    • The place to lock it
    • Ride on street or
      • On the sidewalk, which has been problematic in terms of regulation in many countries.

The reality has been very different as the sales figures were extremely disappointing.

Generally and following several expert, the right decisions are taken primarily in the area(s) where we excel.

Steve JOBS and other investors were not expert in mobility, moreover their enthusiasms have unserved them in the selection of that investment file.

One person, a representative of an investment fund, had nevertheless expressed reserves about the Segway but she was not listened to, retrospectively, she said she should have been firmer.

In this respect, an investment fund published on its website, internal analyzes of the files having failed. It is astounding to note that over the reports before the final investment decision, the negatives points were, for the most part disappeared.

The situation is all the more striking that these are the same heels achilles identified but squeezed reports, which will eventually resurface and permanently undermine these investments.

Since 2015, Segway was bought by the Chinese company, maker of mobile phones, Xiaomi together with a Chinese investment fund.

Advises to maximize your chances ;

  • Get a grant and perform market research (or aid to consultancy, pre-activity);
  • Gather feedback from your future customers and answer their questions;
  • Surround yourself with experts in the field;
  • Listen to those who have failed before you;
  • Flatter luck …

In contrast to this disappointment, many creators/investors were quite alone to carry out their projects disregarded by many but were finally able to break through.

There is also a famous brand of chocolate spread which replaced the cocoa, which was in short supply during the war, with hazelnuts, which lead to the success we all know.

This is what makes a strong company, the one which is resilient and constantly adapting.

So good luck to you!

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