In the 1960s, IBM CEO Tom Watson called an executive into his office after his venture lost $10 million. The man assumed he was being fired. Watson told him, "Fired? Hell, I spent $10 million educating you. I just want to be sure you learned the right lessons." In Billion Dollar Lessons, Paul Carroll and Chunka Mui draw on research into more than 750 business failures to reveal the misguided tactics that mire companies over and over. There are thousands of books about successful companies but virtually none about the lessons to be learned from those that crash and burn. Lesson One: The cold hard facts are that between 1981 and 2006, 423 major companies with combined assets totaling $1.5 trillion filed for bankruptcy. Lesson Two: The number one cause of failure was misguided strategy - not sloppy execution, poor leadership, or bad luck. These strategic errors include pursuing nonexistent synergies; moving into an "adjacent" market that isn't really adjacent and buying more problems than efficiencies through misguided consolidation. Billion Dollar Lessons provides proven methods that managers, boards, and even investors can adopt to avoid making the same mistakes. It draws on vivid examples to help you thoroughly assess potentially disastrous strategies before they bring your company down. Think of Billion Dollar Lessons as the flip side of Good to Great, but just as eye opening and essential as that business classic. Billion Dollar Lessons will keep you from going from good to gone.
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