Having a great product idea is hard. Getting that product from the drawing board to the hands of consumers is even harder. If it were easy, more people would be successful at it.
In fact, companies both large and small can point to huge new product flops, especially in the high-tech electronics sector. Consider this handful of examples that will go down in technology history as good ideas that ended up as huge failures:
- Apple Newton (1993): A personal digital assistant was expensive and had poor handwriting recognition.
- Microsoft Bob (1995): This user-friendly interface for Windows lived only a year, because, well, people found him annoying.
- Nintendo’s Virtual Boy (1995): Nintendo was ahead of the curve on virtual reality but people just weren’t ready. It sold less than a million unites, making it the biggest product failure in Nintendo’s history.
- Microsoft Zune (2006): This product tried to emulate the Apple iPod, and people just weren’t buying it, literally. It had some good features, but wasn’t better than the product it was imitating.
- Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 (2016): It caught fire. If that isn’t a major product problem, what is? This phone has been banned by airlines and Samsung had to recall the entire line.
Real success is about creating the right product at the right time; having the right team to design, build, and deliver it; and communicating the value in the right way. It’s both an art and a science. Even if you have all the right ingredients, outside pressures can bring a good product down.
There are things you can do to optimize the chances of success. The infographic below from To the New offers ten things to think about before launching a new product. Take a look and then let us know in the comments section below your stories of product launch successes and snafus.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN