As the song goes, “Even the best fall down sometimes.” The problem is for businesses, this stumble can cost thousands or millions of dollars. It may even bring them down to their knees, which is bankruptcy.
One of the effective ways to mitigate this risk is to create a feedback management system, especially during the initial phases of the product cycle. This part refers to research, testing, and improvement.
The right tool will allow the company to work with multiple stakeholders simultaneously and seamlessly. They can receive comments from their beta testers or focus groups, and they can forward these to the product development team. Business owners can also collaborate with researchers and market experts at any point in the product launch.
Otherwise, they can meet the same fate as the following products:
Before Apple’s popularity surged, there was Blackberry. Their phones were every businessman’s mobile device. Their models featured a full keyboard, while they ran on an ecosystem. This way, users can also send emails and communicate via chat, among other things.
Then the iPhone happened, which introduced a touchscreen. Some of the product developers wanted to add the same, but it took a while before the company did. When it released its first touchscreen device, critics slammed it because it was too slow and buggy.
Despite the feedback, the company didn’t do much to improve its design but instead rolled more that continued not to meet expectations. By 2012, they had less than 10% of the global market share.
Google may be the king of all search engines (except in China), but it doesn’t mean it keeps rolling the perfect the product. Take, for example, Google+, which never took off.
Google+ was the company’s answer—and direct assault—to Facebook, which was becoming the supreme social media leader. It also ran on a mission of allowing users to collate all their information in one place. While the intention was noble and the project ambitious, it tanked for many reasons.
According to Forbes, one of this was Google’s failure to listen to consumers. Instead, it relied heavily on the feedback of their product development team, who thought way differently than typical social media users.
3. Microsoft Vista
If older people could hardly remember Microsoft Vista, it’s because it wasn’t successful. After 18 months after the company launched it, less than 10% of the PCs around the world used it.
Experts cited many reasons for its failure. For one, it had to follow Windows XP, which was critically acclaimed. Second, it was a sophisticated operating system to use even for IT departments. Lastly, if Microsoft only learned how to do a subscription model right, then there wouldn’t have been a Vista in the first place.
When it comes to product design and process, many companies look up to the Japanese for a reason. It’s because the latter follow specific philosophies, especially when it comes to a feedback management system.
For example, if one product fails to meet quality inspection while still on the assembly, supervisors then meet to talk about it and remedy it. This way, they can already protect the succeeding batches from making mistakes.
While it’s possible to recover from a failed product launch, not everyone succeeds from it. Thus, businesses should strive to get it right the first time.