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Criteria for failure Edit
The criteria for failure are relative to a particular observer and may be based on the individual's belief system. A situation considered to be a failure by one might be considered a success by another, particularly in cases of direct competition or a zero-sum game. As well, the degree of success or failure in a situation may be differently viewed by distinct observers or participants, such that a situation that one considers to be a failure, another might consider to be a success, a qualified success or a neutral situation. Failure requires a subjective interpretation, therefore an inanimate object may not be said to have failed. An exception to this case would be an indirect failure, such as a failure of a machine built by a subjective being, but not failure as a direct result of the subjective action of programming it. Rather the failure would be a result of a combinatoric failure of both events in time and the subjective interpretation of the outcome of his goal.
It may also be difficult or impossible to ascertain whether a situation meets criteria for failure or success due to ambiguous or ill-defined definition of those criteria. Finding useful and effective criteria, or heuristics, to judge the success or failure of a situation may itself be a significant task.
Types of failure Edit
Failure can be differentially perceived from the viewpoints of the evaluators. A person who is only interested in the final outcome of an activity would consider it to be an Outcome Failure if the core issue has not been resolved or a core need is not met. A failure can also be a process failure whereby although the activity is completed successfully, a person may still feel dissatisfied if the underlying process is perceived to be below expected standard or benchmark.
Commercial failures Edit
A commercial failure is a product that does not reach expectations of success, failing to come even close. A major flop goes one step further and is recognized for its complete lack of success.
Most of the items listed below had high expectations, significant financial investments, and/or widespread publicity, but fell far short of success. Due to the subjective nature of "success" and "meeting expectations", there can be disagreement about what constitutes a "major flop."
- For flops in computer and video gaming, see List of commercial failures in computer and video gaming
- For company failures related to the 1997–2001 Dot-com bubble, see Dot-com company
- See also Vaporware
See also Edit
- Academic failure
- Academic underachievement
- Failure analysis
- Failure rate
- Failure mode
- Murphy's law
- System accident
- Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies, New Tork: Basic Books, 1983. Paperback reprint, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-691-00412-9
- Sandage, Scott A. Born Losers: A History of Failure in America. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-674-01510-X, ISBN 0-674-02107-X
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