I recently reviewed a number of articles on why products fail. I’m not going to summarize all the reasons offered because they’re easy to find with quick Google search. What jumped out at me was how few of the reasons dealt with the product itself. When the product was mentioned, factors were poor quality, feature chasing and weak user experience design.

Most of the causes had very little to do with the device itself. The causes can be lumped into the general categories of not understanding the intended market, offering an incomplete solution, and ineffective communication.

I conclude that the formula for success has many ingredients and developing a quality product is not sufficient. If your company has a strong product perspective, you can easily miss where your intended customers have the greatest need. Or you may not be offering all the pieces they need to solve their pressing problems. Even if you get those parts right, you may not have a brand or messages that resonate with your prospects and your voice will get lost in the din of today’s information overload.

On the other hand, if you have a value-driven or outside-in perspective, the odds are much higher that you’ll understand what it takes to be successful with your targeted customers. You’ll know how to define, develop and deliver the positive experiences and outcomes they seek.

That’s really what determines success or failure. Will enough customers spend their dollars with you instead of all the alternatives so your company can continue to grow and invest in the future? That is determined by how much value they receive, not the features you put in your product.

If you've ever had a product failure, what did you learn from the experience and what did you change to avoid the same occurrence in the future?

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