Think of Giving Up? Think of These Instead

Think of Giving Up? Think of These Instead

Nobody likes the idea and thoughts of giving up. For business startups, particularly, they are taught and told to stick with their ventures and try harder each time failure and mistake happens. Guess what? Failure is always lurking around the corner. Handling a business where you have to deal with a number of employees requires more than just investments and good marketing skills. You are leading a group of people to achieve the same goals, and there is no way you get total control of individuals’ train of thoughts and ability to solve problems. In many cases, you are the one persistent enough not to give up on your dream business and must lead by examples. Of course, every business owner dreams of smooth steady progress with very little to none disturbances. But in the modern competitive world, that kind of dream is almost impossible. 

Every once in great while, business oddities do occur when a small company blasts off like a rocket from almost motionless to reach the sky. Think of Microsoft in early days when the company did not really have any notable trouble of getting in everybody’s way, or Rolex which almost always came up without groundbreaking engineering marvels with every new watch. They were (and still are) oddities in business world, but most others have never been in the same place, not even close.

 Does it make sense to give up?

 The short answer is, yes it does but not in the whole business scheme. It means you should NOT give up the dream of running your own business and becoming financially independent, but you can give up your approach to achieve success. This is an example of giving up in small scale. You can only stop doing something because you want to do another method to get to the goal in smarter, easier, faster way. When giving up is done right and preceded by careful planning, it actually opens the door for new opportunities.  

Let us sit back for a while and think of the Sunk Cost Fallacy. In simple words, sunk cost fallacy can be described as being stuck in business. When you have invested so much time, money, and efforts, or even made enough sacrifices to your personal life and family, you probably think that you’ve descended to deep to ascend now. Only to get to the breakeven point, you convince yourself to keep plowing and decide that it makes no sense to stop because you have invested so much already.

 As mentioned earlier, you can stick to the business but with different approach. Instead of trying the same method and fail over and over again, it is better to give up on that method and make time to regroup with your colleagues and business partners. Let us not forget that it may take several attempts and failures to know that the method really does not work. Trial-and-error is not uncommon in business, because progress is made by fixing the errors or trying something else. Every company does that; even worse, sometimes they have no intention to test the products and directly launch to market. When a product is followed by poor sales, they make amends months later with another product. 

Think of SONY with its PlayStation 3; the game console is not the only thing marketed here because every console is fitted with Blu-ray disc player. In tough competition with other big players that actually support HD-DVD, there should be smart approach to win the format war. Putting Blu-ray player in PS3 console is a genius idea to at least provide many homes with a device compatible with the highly-priced format. It is no secret that SONY loses money on every PS3 it sells, but the Blu-ray format (which SONY supports) becomes more popular, so there is actually an upside from a seemingly total downside of PlayStation 3.

 Companies that make smartphones and home appliances are also inevitable parts of the trial & error schemes. The current product is probably imperfect due to some flaws in design or functionality, but those companies release newer products to address the issues. Failure happens often in big companies, let alone startups. To put it to context, giving up does not always mean abandoning a project. You only give up on the approach but not the entire business. There is always new strategy to plan, new campaigns to make up for financial loss, and probably new people to build partnership.

Find Partners

 When it comes to partnership, most business startups do not even consider this a viable option. They want to be independent and do things on their own. Assuming you are one of those business owners, starting a company is always a struggle with no financial backup and resources to do enough market research and product development. The possibility of falling into the sunk cost fallacy is high, leaving you no room to be flexible and leading to the actual failure and giving up.

Coming up with new strategies is not always easy either. You must spend considerable amount of research and resources re-allocation to come up with a new plan. If this is impossible due to financial difficulties and you don’t want to get trapped in the aforementioned fallacy, one of the best ideas is to embrace partnership, especially with a bigger more established company. 

Chances are you become no longer in charge of your company, but as long as you have the freedom to develop your products and do more marketing campaign, the business is saved. You still run your business, you make money, your company is active, and your partner also earns revenue; this is a win-win situation. With due diligence, you can find a bigger company that really cares about your business and sees potentials on your products. A good parent company recognizes you as more than just a subsidiary, but it is committed to support your roles in the business. The partner owns your company now, but it does not take over the operational. 


Good examples are car companies such as Jaguar and Land Rover, which are owned by Tata Motors (India); Audi, Porsche, and Bentley are owned by Volkswagen. All brands are competing in the market, but they are supported by larger entity. Many car companies were acquired by their competitors during financial difficulties. At the very least, they managed to save the brand on the brink of complete bust and get the chance to still thrive in the market. So instead of giving up, always look for alternatives. Many things can and will happen if you are persistent enough to prove that your company does give values to customers and make their lives better.

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

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