Catstrophic Failure (aka Epic Failure)

Netflix went from a high of $305 per share this July to $77 in three months.

September 18th, 2011 saw the last of the Borders Bookstores close its doors.

77 days after New Coke started selling, the company announced that they would bring back “Classic Coke.” **

Catastrophic Failure is a type that does major harm to interested parties (in these cases, stockholders and employees).  The harm could be economic, physical, emotional or otherwise.  It does not need to be a complete failure, just create major harm in some way.

We should remember that part of the nature of failure is that it was unintentional.  If you meant to cause harm, you have achieved your goal.  But failure is an unintended consequence.


** The Coke story has an interesting ending.  This Catastrophic Failure actually turned into an Intrinsic Failure and eventually into a company success.