4 Reasons New Software Products Fail

There are many reasons why new products fail, but some are consistently at the top of the list and it’s important to review these often, in order to avoid making similar mistakes. Market research can be one of the most significant tools to analyze repeatedly as it can save time in narrowing the vision and scope of the entire software product.

Here are 4 reasons why new products fail, and some considerations to make to ensure that your software product avoids these pitfalls.

1. Products Fail Due to Lack of Vision

A lack of vision or a lack of clearly defined vision can be catastrophic to the successful rollout of a software product. If everyone has a different idea or understanding of what the product is and how it works, no one will be able to properly represent it. The vision must be worked through thoroughly with the product development team and then positioned very clearly to all internal stakeholders so that they may relay that vision message properly externally when the time comes.

2. No Single Department Owns The Product

If there are too many cooks in the kitchen, the product is either going to burn or never get put in the oven. There must be a product owner within the organization who is responsible for knowing where things stand, where they need to go, who’s doing what, and how to communicate to and between all of these internal and external stakeholders. If there isn’t a clear product manager, then there is no driving force to ensure that things are happening as they should and when they should.

3. Lack Of Quality/Qualified Tech Talent

Historically, Canadian tech companies have run into some trouble hiring software product management talent to handle the scope of their product development. It’s certainly not that Canada isn’t producing very talented developers and product managers, it’s simply that the demand has far exceeded the available supply. Organizations need to have deliberate plans in place to attract and retain the development and product management talent they need. 

4. Poor Planning

Without proper planning, a product can’t survive for the long haul. It is essential for a product to be properly prototyped, tested, test marketed, run through focus groups, analyzed, improved, and run through the gamut again. Attempting to skip any of these steps can be disastrous and lead to the product’s demise. All too often, tech companies have worked tirelessly on producing and launching a software product that missed the mark. Either they had not clearly defined their target and were aiming for a market that didn’t see the value or they didn’t realize that they had a problem that needed solving in the first place.

Only 50% of companies have a product plan ready for execution. Don’t become a cautionary tale and risk the overall success of your product—and your company.