5 Mistakes that Cause Your Product to Fail
A lot of great new products fail — and companies often wonder why. A recent study shows 35% to 48% products fail to deliver a significant return. And 20 to 21% products get killed prior to launch.
Some of these products didn’t create value for customers and deserved to fail. However, oftentimes product managers launch products that can deliver a great amount of value but customers do not adopt these products because they can’t recognise their value. In other words, the value is not initially clear to the end user.
Apart from the failure to understand how customers evaluate products and make purchase decisions, there are other serious mistakes product managers make that contribute to the high rate of failure:
#1. No hypotheses
It’s essential for a product manager to make predictions about a product and user behaviour so that they can be tested and validated (or disproved) to ensure product development keeps on the right track.
Remember that features are just things that we think can solve user problems. They’re not things we begin developing, they’re things we begin validating. So first create a list of hypotheses that should be validated and see what data is telling you, what users think of it and then choose what is a clear win and can be implemented straight away.
#2. Ignoring data
Never ignore data even if it doesn’t support what you want to see in a product. Make sure you are using the right data, asking the right questions and performing the right tests.
Plus, never limit your data sources to one – use many of them instead. And be careful when choosing what user needs to satisfy in new releases – don’t fall prey to the vocal minority, prioritise things that can make a bigger impact for a larger audience.
#3. Sticking to the HIPPO
Sticking to the HIPPO (Highest Paid Persons Opinion) means taking the view of a person who shouts loudest. But as a product manager, you should ensure that you make decisions based on verified data and knowledge/expertise of others.
#4. Rare releases
There are two reasons why releasing often is important for developing a successful product. Firstly, accelerated learning – you release an MVP, validate your assumptions and decide what to do next (what feature you should keep and what you can pull off from the product).
Secondly, the more often you release the more frequently you deliver value to users. Take into account user feedback when preparing a new release – make sure users feel like their input is valued and put into practice.
#5. Not using your product daily
There is no way you are going to develop a product that users truly love and enjoy if you have no or little experience interacting with it. Using your product daily is essential for setting the product vision, finding out what areas need improvement and inspiring your product team.