Failures, more important for Growth, than SuccessSudhanwa Rajurkar
Recently, I have been writing regularly for our Company. I enjoyed writing about some success stories of our company, about its growth.
Every company has success and failure stories. I believe it’s enjoyable to write about success stories, but it’s not easy to write about something that you have failed in. It’s like writing your own failure story. Not very enjoyable!
Success and failure are steps in the journey of any company. It is important for the leaders in the company to analyze the failures and draw learnings from them, and act on them.
It is a learning process, all along the journey. I would like to share one such learning, that we picked in our journey.
Very early in our journey as a fledging software services company, we had some fantastic product engineering and data engineering success stories under our belt.
We were full of energy and passion, it was visible in everything we did. We were very confident about the abilities that we can take on any kind of business and technology problems. We were quick in picking up our customers and anxious to prove ourselves to them.
Along our journey, we came across a customer, where we did a fantastic workflow mobilization business solution from scratch, which automated their critical business workflows and made it very efficient, effectively increased their customer satisfaction. It delighted our customer and their customers as well.
All well till then!
This is when our customers asked us if we could help them with their other systems (read…CMS, Portals, Drupal).
We did not have ANY experience nor expertise with the required technologies, but our confidence was high and since more business was in the offering, we hastily agreed to do the same.
We started off immediately with our existing team, with a lot of enthusiasm, started learning the domain, technology and started doing incremental work, securing smaller wins. It started really well. We soon chalked of a roadmap in collaboration with the stakeholders and embarked on delivering the desired results.
Lack of experience and expertise in relevant technologies and platforms started showing up, we started failing on our timelines, quality. Repeatedly. The goodwill earned with the customer evaporated in no time, and it started sowing seeds of heartburn, and lack of confidence in our company. Eventually, we ended the project, to cut further losses for the customer. It eroded all the goodwill we had build throughout our engagement with them.
It was our first taste of failure! It was heartbreaking to see an unsatisfied customer.
Looking back, I can see that it taught us so many invaluable lessons, which helped us continue growing in our journey.
Most importantly, It taught us to say NO to some business opportunities. It taught us the importance of qualifying business opportunities, not only financially but also based on our focus and competence.
It’s very easy and tempting to say ‘Yes, We can do it, particularly to an existing, satisfied customer. No one wants to see another agency/vendor competing with you in your customer’s environment.
By saying YES to work, which is not in your focus and competence, you are putting the ‘hard earned’ goodwill & relationship in a jeopardy.
It is so important to realize our strengths and stick with them. Say NO to anything else.
Decline project opportunities that will distract you from your goal. The risks are far fatal than revenue opportunities.
We, at @CoreView, have taken the failure to heart, and have learned the importance to say NO, at the right time, the hard way!—————————————————————————————————————
I hope I have not done a lot of self (CoreView) bashing 🙂 If so, please try to reduce it, without losing the essence.