September 7, 2018

Why 9.5 out of 10 Great Ideas Fail to Achieve Product Success

You know your market inside and out. You’ve cracked the nut. You’ve solved the problem. You know that this is the one. You’ve come up with the next breakthrough product idea.

And, you’re most likely wrong.

No matter what your idea, no matter how good it is, and, no matter how well you know your market, your idea likely isn’t as revolutionary as you think it is when you’re in the idea honeymoon phase. If Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, and Jeff Bezos weren’t spot on in their initial ideas of what Facebook, Google, and Amazon would eventually become, why would you think you’ve gotten it 100% right out of the gate?

Why? One word. You.

Software products aren’t about you. Successful software products – those that gain significant traction and create a positive ROI – must be chosen. And, to be chosen, software products have to improve a customer’s life in some form or fashion.

Think about the apps and websites you choose to use on a regular basis. From Evernote to Facebook to The Common App, each of these products have specific purposes that improve the lives of their customers. Evernote increases productivity. Facebook, warts and all, helps you stay in touch with friends and family. The Common App lets students manage all their college applications in one place.

So, until your product is in the hands of customers who have said, “Yes, this is something that is worth the investment of time or money I have to make…” it’s simply not going to be a successful product in the long run.

In over 20 years in product development, I have never once seen an idea that survived first contact with the customer. If you want to be successful in the digital economy, you must learn to create software products that customers choose.

You should be thinking about your digital initiatives and what you should do in order to make sure that your software is chosen. At 3Pillar, we’ve learned the secrets to building hundreds of products and creating billions of dollars of equity value for our clients.

To learn the secrets, make sure you get your copy of The Product Mindset: Succeed in the Digital Economy by Changing the Way Your Organization Thinks co-written by Jessica Hall, VP of Product Strategy and Design at 3Pillar Global, and myself.