Product failures are never something that a product manager wants to talk about. We all live with the secret dread that someday the product that we are responsible for might turn out to be a failure. When that happens, we all expect that we'll be asked to leave the company.
It turns out that we're all missing an important learning opportunity. Products do fail, and they end up failing for a wide range of reasons. Every product failure is loaded with fantastic learning opportunities for product managers. We just need to take the time and open our eyes to see what we can learn from each failure.
Some of the biggest companies out there have suffered very public product failures. Talented product managers at companies like Coke, Dell, Pepsi, Cisco, and Microsoft have all done their best to bring a product to the market with the hopes of having a runaway success, only to fail. Given all of the resources at their disposal, these failures are even more surprising.
As product managers, we need to carefully study what happened in each of these cases. The better that we can understand what went wrong at these well-funded and well-staffed firms, the better chance we have of avoiding making the same mistakes.
Contained in this book are the tips and tricks that you are going to need in order to spot when a product is going to fail. As you read each chapter, think about how you can start to use this new information in your job immediately. I think that you are going to be both surprised and pleased with how much this information is going to help you avoid making the mistakes that have caused so many other products to fail!
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