LEARNING FROM A FAILURE

By Mohammad Suyanto

A failure is a label that often we associate with an action that did not work when the action was taken, and the label makes us say that someone who has failed is considered incapable, and of course, such a consideration decreases his or her enthusiasm to become a successful person. when we were children, failure had no meaning, as we know we did not have the concept of failure, and if we had had such a concept, now we would not be able to speak, to write, and to walk because we too much failed to do so by then, or in other words, the frequency of the failures was countless. We can also mimic our failures in childhood and learn from them in the business world; Coca Cola Company, and Matsushita, for example. Coca Cola failed in the first year sales which were conducted by placing its products in the beverage in the pharmacy, and the company spent 73.96 dollars on ads through banners and coupons. Such a failure made Coca Cola aware of rightly choosing another media which was more powerful to advertise Coca Cola with the atmosphere of joy. Like Coca Cola, Matsushita also failed in the first time sales of his products, plug adapters. It took Matsushita and four colleagues of his four months to create the products. At first, he offered the adapters to his previous employers but he did not receive a response. Then, he tried to sell the products to the public, but nobody bought them.

In 1993, Compaq company, which was the leader of the PC sales market at the time, put through a price cut to compete with Dell Company. As a result, Dell Company lost 65 million dollars in the first six months and was almost bankrupt. Then, Dell Company learned from this failure; tried to find other ways to sell computers; and made a very fundamental change called re-engineering in process of business with the introduction of E-commerce. In 1999, by means of E-commerce , Dell Company could sell its computers with the value of 1.7 million dollars per day through its website. The shares of Dell Company rose 2000 percent in two years, and it could compete with world class companies such as IBM, Compaq, HP, and Bell-Nec. Even the market shares and the profits of Dell Company continued to rise, and eventually it became the largest PC seller in the world.

When my colleagues and I started a business, we also went through a number of failures. At first, I myself started with the failures in book sales, telex sales by phone, and sales of car-furnishing materials. Then, we set up Primagama Education Institution and got 2 students only in spite of the fact that it was advertised intensively. Furthermore, we founded Wijaya Company, which gave automotive services, and eventually it was closed down. Then, we  set  up IMKI Computer Education Institution and got 3 students only. Furthermore, we founded Amikom College in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 1992 and at first got 6 students only, but now we have about 8600 students. My Colleagues and I always try to learn from our failures, and then we make corrections and improve them for success.