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Why Do Businesses Fail?

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Why Do Businesses Fail?

Why Do Businesses Fail?

For any new entrepreneur, it’s natural to be optimistic.

Whether that person has a world-changing idea or is starting a new coffee shop, the glass has to be half full that the business will succeed. Otherwise, what is the point of starting a new company in the first place?

The Harsh Reality

Today’s infographic from InsuranceQuotes shows that this entrepreneurial enthusiasm might be misplaced.

The reality is that it’s a cruel world out there for entrepreneurs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States keeps a sobering tally of how often businesses fail, and here are the numbers from 1995-2015:

Years in BusinessFailure Rate
1 year21.2%
2 years32.1%
5 years51.2%
10 years66.6%
20 years79.6%

Statistically speaking, there is over a 50% chance that any new business is toast in five years.

And the record for tech startups? It’s even worse, with 90% of all startups eventually failing.

Business Failure Can Be Complex

It takes the confluence of many factors to build a successful business: assembling the right team at the right time, achieving product/market fit, staying on top of the competition, and getting the necessary funding are just some of the key elements to success.

In the same vein, it is often hard to pin down just one reason for failure, since everything is so interconnected.

For example, one study by U.S. Bank shows that 82% of small businesses fail because of cash flow mismanagement. This is a fair point, since without cash flow there is no business.

However, while cash flow may end up being the final nail in the coffin for many businesses, it’s also fair to say that a lack of cash flow can be the symptom of other problems. What if the company is going after the wrong market? What if the team is dysfunctional and unmotivated? What if the company isn’t differentiated enough to compete?

With any of these situations playing out, it should be no surprise that sales aren’t coming in like expected, which would certainly tank cash flow. At the same time, a company with the right team and product should be able to make swift changes to right the ship from any chronic issues.

Some Reasons Businesses Fail

With the complexity of business failure in mind, here are some of the commonly listed reasons for why businesses fail:

  • 82% experience cash flow problems
  • 42% find that there is an insufficient need for their product or service
  • 29% run out of cash
  • 23% do not have the right team
  • 19% are out-competed

Lastly, for a full list of reasons for why businesses fail, see this infographic showing 20 common reasons why startups fail.

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Ranked: The 20 Biggest Tech Companies by Market Cap

In total, the 20 biggest tech companies are worth over $20 trillion—nearly 18% of the stock market value globally.

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A portion of the top 20 biggest tech companies visualized as bubbles sized by market cap with Apple as the biggest.

Ranked: The 20 Biggest Tech Companies by Market Cap

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The world’s 20 biggest tech companies are worth over $20 trillion in total. To put this in perspective, this is nearly 18% of the stock market value globally.

This graphic shows which companies top the ranks, using data from Companiesmarketcap.com.

A Closer Look at The Top 20

Market capitalization (market cap) measures what a company is worth by taking the current share price and multiplying it by the number of shares outstanding. Here are the biggest tech companies according to their market cap on June 13, 2024.

RankCompanyCountry/RegionMarket Cap
1AppleU.S.$3.3T
2MicrosoftU.S.$3.3T
3NvidiaU.S.$3.2T
4AlphabetU.S.$2.2T
5AmazonU.S.$1.9T
6MetaU.S.$1.3T
7TSMCTaiwan$897B
8BroadcomU.S.$778B
9TeslaU.S.$582B
10TencentChina$453B
11ASMLNetherlands$415B
12OracleU.S.$384B
13SamsungSouth Korea$379B
14NetflixU.S.$281B
15AMDU.S.$258B
16QualcommU.S.$243B
17SAPGermany$225B
18SalesforceU.S.$222B
19PDD Holdings (owns Pinduoduo)China$212B
20AdobeU.S.$206B

Note: PDD Holdings says its headquarters remain in Shanghai, China, and Ireland is used for legal registration for its overseas business.

 

Apple is the largest tech company at the moment, having competed with Microsoft for the top of the leaderboard for many years. The company saw its market cap soar after announcing its generative AI, Apple Intelligence. Analysts believe people will upgrade their devices over the next few years, since the new features are only available on the iPhone 15 Pro or newer.

Microsoft is in second place in the rankings, partly thanks to enthusiasm for its AI software which is already generating revenue. Rising profits also contributed to the company’s value. For the quarter ended March 31, 2024, Microsoft increased its net income by 20% compared to the same quarter last year.

Nvidia follows closely behind with the third-highest market cap, rising more than eight times higher compared to its value at the start of 2023. The company has recently announced higher profits, introduced a higher dividend, and reported that its next-generation GPU chip will start generating revenue later this year.

AI a Driver of the Biggest Tech Companies

It’s clear from the biggest tech companies that involvement in AI can contribute to investor confidence.

Among S&P 500 companies, AI has certainly become a focus topic. In fact, 199 companies cited the term “AI” during their first quarter earnings calls, the highest on record. The companies who mentioned AI the most were Meta (95 times), Nvidia (86 times), and Microsoft (74 times).

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