As we say farewell to 2007, just over 16,000 UK companies did not plan a Christmas party. Instead, an insolvency practitioner was surgically extracting every pound of value for beleaguered creditors of these failed companies. According to the latest BDO Stoy Hayward Industry Watch report, UK corporate failures will rise by 7% in 2008 and by more than 10% in the leisure sector. So why do they fail? According to The Insolvency Service, the three key reasons for corporate failure are loss of market, failure to deal with tax affairs and ‘other management failures’. Loss of market was cited in just over half of all UK compulsory liquidations. Loss of market is a ‘catch-all’ term that really means that customers were mis-treated, mis-sold, ignored and taken for granted. How should we feel about these corporate fatalities? Undoubtedly, many people’s lives (normally committed staff) will be profoundly affected by their demise, but in the majority of cases, will their customers miss these companies? Probably not and the reason is that most were extraordinarily ordinary, offering mediocre, poor-value goods and services to under-whelmed customers (e.g. undifferentiated food propositions, web sites that nobody needs, unscrupulous home improvement companies and a raft of unnecessary business-to-business intermediaries). Why did these companies exist in the first place? What was their compelling purpose? What did they stand for? Perhaps, not very much which explains why most will not be missed.