Failure

Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic engineering.

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Failure in science

Thomas J. Watson is attributed with saying "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate". Wired Magazine editor Kevin Kelly likewise explains that a great deal can be learned from things going unexpectedly, and that part of science's success comes from keeping blunders "small, manageable, constant, and trackable". He uses the example of engineers and programmers who push systems to their limits, breaking them to learn about them. Kelly also warns against creating a culture (e.g. school system) that punishes failure harshly, because this inhibits a creative process, and risks teaching people not to communicate important failures with others (e.g. Null results).[1]

Criteria for failure

The criteria for failure are heavily dependent on context of use, and may be relative to a particular observer or 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. Similarly, 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.

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

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.

  1. Failure to anticipate
  2. Failure to perceive
  3. Failure to carry out a task

Loser is a derogatory term for a person who is (according to the standards of the observer) generally unsuccessful.

Commercial failures

A commercial failure is a product that does not reach expectations 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
  • Box-office bomb

Internet memes

Adaptation of above image illustrating an Internet meme

"Fail" is the name of a popular Internet meme where users superimpose a caption, often the word "fail" or "epic fail", onto photos or short videos depicting unsuccessful events or people falling short of expectations.[2] In July 2003, a contributor to Urban Dictionary wrote that the term, "fail," could be used as an interjection, "when one disapproves of something," citing the example: "You actually bought that? FAIL." This most likely originated as a shortened form of "You fail" or, more fully, "You fail it," the taunting "game over" message in the 1998 Japanese video game Blazing Star, notorious for its fractured English.[3][4][5] There is an entire Internet site dedicated to "fails" called Fail Blog.[3] The #fail hash tag is used on the microblogging site Twitter to indicate contempt or displeasure, and the image that accompanies the message that the site is overloaded is referred to as the "fail whale".[6]

Failboat or consignment of fail is a popular macro series, featuring images of cargo vessels tipping over or shedding cargo, with captions such as 'the failboat has arrived', or 'all aboard the failboat'. The original vessel whose image was used was the MV Cougar Ace,[citation needed] although the Ital Florida, the MV Napoli and even the SS Normandy, sunk at her berth in New York harbour, have appeared.

The term "miserable failure" has also been popularized as a result of a widely known "Google bombing," which caused Google searches for the term to turn up the White House biography of George W. Bush.[7]

See also

References

Further reading

External links


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • failure — fail·ure n 1: omission of occurrence or performance; specif: a failing to perform a duty or expected action a failure to mitigate damages failure to prosecute 2: a lack of success or adequacy failure of a suit 3: a failing in business …   Law dictionary

  • failure — fail‧ure [ˈfeɪljə ǁ ər] noun 1. [countable, uncountable] COMMERCE a situation in which a business that is not successful has to close because it is losing money: • The Official Receiver recommended a detailed investigation into the reasons for… …   Financial and business terms

  • failure — failure, neglect, default, miscarriage, dereliction are comparable when they mean an omission on the part of someone or something of what is expected or required oj him or of it. Failure basically implies a being found wanting; it implies a lack… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Failure — Fail ure, n. [From {Fail}.] 1. Cessation of supply, or total defect; a failing; deficiency; as, failure of rain; failure of crops. [1913 Webster] 2. Omission; nonperformance; as, the failure to keep a promise. [1913 Webster] 3. Want of success;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Failure — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Failure fue una banda de rock alternativo en la década de los 90. Contenido 1 Historia 2 Post Failure 3 Discografía 4 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Failure — est un groupe de rock américain fondé dans les années 90 par Ken Andrews (chanteur, guitariste), Greg Edwards (bassiste) et Robert Gauss (batteur). Sommaire 1 Histoire 2 Discographie 2.1 Albums 2.2 Autres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • failure — [n1] lack of success abortion, bankruptcy, bomb, botch*, breakdown, bungle*, bust, checkmate, collapse, decay, decline, defeat, deficiency, deficit, deterioration, downfall, failing, false step*, faux pas, fiasco, flash in the pan*, flop*,… …   New thesaurus

  • Failure — Failure. См. Отказ. (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • failure — (see also bankruptcy and insolvency) an economic assessment of the viability of a business, it means that a firm is either not earning what is expected (i.e. it has a below normal rate of return) or is not meeting its obligations. It is not… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • failure — 1640s, failer, from Anglo Fr. failer, from O.Fr. falir (see FAIL (Cf. fail)). The verb in Anglo French used as a noun; ending altered 17c. to conform with words in ure …   Etymology dictionary

  • failure — ► NOUN 1) lack of success. 2) an unsuccessful person or thing. 3) the omission of expected or required action. 4) an instance or the state of not functioning …   English terms dictionary


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