The rewards of creating high tech products can be great, both in terms of revenue and in affecting peoples lives. Just think about all the different types of software you use on any given day. All those applications have an impact on your life, at the workplace and at home.
Building great products is what most of us want to do. A lot of times we manage to do it too, only to realize that the market response doesn’t match the brilliance of the product.
There are, of course, many factors involved in determining which products succeed and which fail. We’re going to name a few, in no particular order of priority.
- Too long development cycles. The user rarely uses our software the way we expect them to, and through their behavioral data we can see what should come next. With modern technology, we can make lots of experiments and update our products very fast. Making development faster and testing and updating of the product in shorter cycles should be a priority.
- Marketing to the wrong segment. The tech adoption life cycle is something we should always have in mind, and awareness of what stage we are in is vital. A brand new technology can hardly be marketed to the early majority, but the innovators and early adopters may be happy to get on board, using even an MVP-version of the product. Depending on where in the cycle you are, you have different demands on both product development and marketing.
- The chasm. As described by Geoffrey A. Moore in his famous book “Crossing the chasm” there is a sharp gap or chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. The key to major success is bridging that gap and start becoming a mainstream product. Product development and marketing (and of course, sales) need to be done in an integrated process to achieve this.
- A brilliant product that doesn’t fix a problem. Even a brand new, innovative product needs to be a solution to a problem. We’ve written about it before, but it can’t be stressed enough. The product needs to be a remedy to an ailment or pain that the customers have. Today that could mean being able to deliver realtime big data and analyzing it at the same time or just the handling of extreme amounts of transactions. Or something completely different.
- Insufficient accumulation of user data. Accumulate behavioral data from the users, analyze it and let that guide the further development of the product. If there isn’t enough data to analyze, it’s easy to go in the wrong direction.
This does in no way mean anyone should abstain from making their product idea a reality. If your business is cutting edge software applications, there are lots of factors to consider to come to the best strategic conclusions. We hope the tips above, the ones we’ve written about before and the ones we mention in the future can serve as a help and inspiration in that process.