The reason why IKEA fails is because their products do not inspire.
These products are some of the cheapest made solutions ever conceived. It starts with near 100% particle board on every “wood” product – and the rest of the components are of no high quality either.
Worse yet, building the product is one of the least inspiring activities on planet earth – it’s just as pleasurable as removing a splinter from underneath your fingernail. The process and experience does not inspire the builder to enjoy the experience of building or even want to appreciate or increase their appreciation for the art and craft of building something, let alone the art of carpentry and assorted other disciplines.
There is a tragic reason why they have these instructions in the very beginning of every single manual – they know that it’s a complete pain in the ass to build their own products and are quite open and willing for you to pay their own employees (who probably hate it just as much) to build the product for you.
I think that’s terribly sad. Sure, the products are functional and last a good while (if you don’t use them consistently) but they are not inspiring and the company fails to inspire as well, even if they are fiscally responsible and a $35B company ($27B euro).
The fact that they are highly profitable and have an incredible amount of liquid equity increases the depth of sadness – they can afford to pay for a little inspiration.