Watch Out For Your Failure Points

multiple failure points in your business


Making something complex is not hard. The ability to create complexity can happen from a lack of thorough and clear thinking. It’s easier to be indiscriminate and add things to your business whether it is software, headcount or processes.

But the problem with complexity is that it introduces failure points. These are areas that can break your business and create some proportion of pain. They are areas of vulnerability that can happen with the right external or internal strain.

Consider how your business runs. Sure, there are plenty of shiny new tools out there. You can simply Google your way to find applications that might help you sell, service, budget, market, discover or just about anything you can imagine.

You bring in a bunch of tools. Then you add people regardless if they are talented or not. You have to manage both – the systems and the people – just to keep pace with what is working or can work.

If things don’t work well together or you have so many fronts that handling your business becomes unwieldy, it is a classic situation that can leave you vulnerable as you scale. Growth can start to expose the frailty of your structures, while being small may have disguised the exposure you had in actuality.


The truth is that any decision is rarely isolated. It has some causality and affects other parts of your system. Thus, when you create complexity, either by being indiscriminate or by overengineering your business, you create systemic consequences. You increase the opportunities of failure points.

Thinking systemically means consideration for a bigger picture and the effects that can happen from a decision or input. The more you can do this, the more headaches you save yourself as you grow.

Growth has this funny way of amplifying problems. When you are small, you don’t see the warts so well. But the strain becomes evident when larger demands from your customers and your team occur.

So, what’s the point? You may have plenty of failure points that are lurking under the surface. You also have the opportunity to build something that is both robust and delightful. Considering how to make the complicated simple is not easy work. It takes insight, talent and hard work.

The world is filled with people that can make the simple complex. But the patience, acumen and clarity to make the complicated simple is where opportunities for growth and success lie.

Keep an eye on your failure points. They are an achilles heel when you are trying to overcome the inertia of growing a successful business. It will serve you well to think strategically and minimize the failure points before they become threats later.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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