Continuing the series on root causes of product failure, this article looks at the impact of focusing on the wrong user goals. Even if you have picked the right users, you may have picked the wrong goals – creating a product your customers don’t really need, or solving problems that your customers don’t care about solving.
Exploring the reasons that a product might fail in the market is a useful way to triage and assess what you need to do to prevent the failure of your product. Instead of taking the “do these things” approach as a prescriptive recipe for product managers, I’m approaching the exact same topic from the opposite direction. I was inspired in part to explore this approach when thinking about the Remember the Future innovation game. Instead of asking “What will the system have done?” in order to gain insights what it could be built to do, I’m asking “Why did your product fail?” in order to prevent the most likely causes of failure.
There are many reasons that a product might fail in the market. One of those reasons is that your product solves the wrong problems. There are many ways to solve the wrong problems. This article continues the series on sources of product failure, exploring the idea that your product may be trying to solve the wrong problems.
Why do products fail? Trying to organize all of the reasons that your product might fail is a Herculean effort. Understanding how your product did, will, or might fail will help you focus on what you need to do next.
After building an understanding of which problems are important to your each customer you want to serve, and rating each competitive product , you’re ready to tally the scores and see how your product compares with your competition. This tells you if you’re likely to crush it, and if not, lets you know where you should invest later. This series on comparing products starts here if you need to get caught up.
And now, on to the finale…
At this point in the product comparison series, you know who your customers are, which problems are important to them, and which products compete to solve those problems. It’s time to score the competing products and see how the solutions your product provides (or will provide) will stack up. This is the latest in a series on comparing products, jump back to the start of the series if you came here first, but hurry up :).
The first step to comparing products is understanding your customers. This may seem counter-intuitive, but your product’s capabilities are meaningless unless you are comparing them from your customer’s point of view. This article is part 2 in a series on comparing products. Check out part 1, then continue with this article on the first steps of comparing products.
Recently, the gadget-reviewer crowd has caught on to something we’ve known for a long time. Comparing products is not about comparing specs, it is about comparing how well the products solve problems that customers will pay to solve. That begs the question – how should you compare products? Read on to see the product comparison technique I recommend.
Requirements Management – I’m embarking on a journey to help several teams manage their requirements with their existing systems and tools. This is the first in a series of articles, where the rubber meets the road. I’ll look at both the theory and the realities of what works (and doesn’t) in practice. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
In last week’s article (and the GrandView webinar) I talked about using models of customer behavior as a method of understanding and investing in your markets. One example I used is what I call a trust pyramid – representing how people have different levels of trust in the assertions of others. This article explores the idea of the trust pyramid in more detail.