The Reasons Why

Success has many fathers,” so the saying goes, “but failure is an orphan.” Well, not around here.  There are clear reasons why every also-ran described here did not succeed at the very highest level. Frequently, there are multiple causes.

Here are the areas where people, businesses, and ideas tend to fall short:

Bad Decisions Strategic blunders, tactical mistakes. As common in other domains as they are in business. On occasion they can be overcome. More frequently, not.
Poor Timing Windows of opportunity rarely remain open for long and first-movers in any category have a tremendous advantage. Many great achievements fall to those whose readiness for success coincides more closely with the world’s readiness to receive a champion.
Outsider Status Validation from “the establishment” is an important key to success. Many also-rans don’t have access to insiders, others fail to earn recognition from the experts within their domains.
Low Public Support In some cases the very definition of an also-ran, the inability to win popular acclaim, acceptance, or adoption is also the primary cause why many products, ideas, and legacies suffer.
Lack of Desire A lack of ambition, drive, or motivation is often the difference-maker.   For many also-rans, for various reasons, surrender is the preferred option.
Weakness Muscle counts. Inferiority in marketing, distribution, brand-building, or the star-making machinery leads many otherwise worthy contenders to fall short.
Poor Execution When everything else aligns for success, a failure to execute in the moment often spells defeat, particularly in the domains of sports and business.
Bad Luck Sometimes it just comes down to the way the dice rolls, the cards are dealt, or the cookie crumbles.
Lower Quality Of course, many people, technologies, and businesses fail on the merits, their ideas, skills, or talents inferior to those of their competitors.
In The Shadow A failure to emerge into the brightest light is frequently a function of the length and depth of the shadows cast, justifiably or not, by others.

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