What is an example of a failed product launch?

What is an example of a failed product launch: lessons we can learn from them We enjoy discussing the wins of well-known startups or tech giants and attempting to analyze every aspect of their strategies that allowed them to grow to such heights.

However, we tend to overlook the fact that 90% of all products fail within the first five years of their release, and it is equally important to understand this to prevent our products from suffering the same fate. For why these products failed.

In light of this, I’ve compiled a list of famous product failures, examined the factors that contributed to their demise, and highlighted key lessons that product managers and entrepreneurs should remember.

Failure #1: Apple Newton

Naturally, when we discuss cell phones the iPhone is the first device that comes to mind. Specifically, this image is associated with the word “smartphone” in my brain.

What is an example of a failed product launch

This is Steve Jobs, the famous inventor, and his most popular creation. However, did you realize that Steve Jobs also introduced unsuccessful products?

Apple Newton was one of them. Apple introduced a series of PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) in the early 1990s. That was the time of early cell phones, which had small screens and limited features other than being able to make calls.

In contrast, the Newton boasted a touchscreen interface (!) as well as a comprehensive feature set that included a calculator and a full-featured organizer.

There is no doubt that Newton was far ahead of his time. Nevertheless, as a product it failed for several reasons, such as:

Cost: Kardashian-levels of wealth were required to purchase the Newton, as its original retail price in 1993 was a staggering $2,495—equivalent to $5,250 now!

Technical limitations: While excellent on paper, Newton’s handwriting recognition feature performed horribly in real life. Furthermore, the performance of the smartphone was very poor and its battery life was also short.

Unsure Marketing: To sell the product, Apple’s marketing team relied on handwriting recognition, which ultimately failed. Newton lacked a well-defined buyer persona and use case.

Given all these shortcomings, Apple decided to phase it out in the late 1990s.

Selling a use case instead of a shiny gimmick: a lesson learned

Yes, Newton was very influential—especially when it came to handwriting recognition and touchscreens. Yes, the fact that it looked so good made it sell to a lot of people, especially rich people. However, the takeaway is that you cannot create a product that is successful and not sell it in large quantities just because it looks good.

A product’s ability to solve users’ problems or complete tasks is essential to its success. Product teams spend months understanding the demands of their users and use specialized technologies to design products people will want to buy.

People buy what they need instead of your stuff.

Failure #2: Microsoft Zune

You remember the iPod era, right? When students were in high school and college, they were walking around with their white earbuds on, subtly keeping up with the times with the music playing on their iPods.

However, do you remember the Zune? Either you don’t understand it at all, or you mistake it for “lame”.

  • Microsoft released the Zune digital media player to counter the global iPod craze that swept the world in the early 2000s. This is how it was discovered.
  • To be honest, I liked the design. The Zune wasn’t that bad in terms of features. You can watch videos, listen to the radio and play your music. But despite all this, the Zune was a flawed product, with the following notable issues:
  • Late entrant: When Zune joined the fray the iPod had already established itself as a major player in the industry with a devoted following, a large market share, and a well-known brand.
  • Awesome ecosystem: MacOS and iTunes can work flawlessly with iPods. iTunes, with its vast collection of songs and other media, dominated the music market. The Zune had none of this.

Minimal differences: The Zune and iPod were almost equal in features and use cases. As a result, the Zune was at a competitive disadvantage as new customers would turn to the iPod due to its strong ecosystem and well-known brand.

What is an example of a failed product launch

Microsoft spent a ton of money marketing the Zune to keep it viable for a few years. But when Microsoft discontinued it in mid-2012, that finally came to an end.

Takeaway: It is essential to have a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

The Zune lacked a distinctive value proposition. This indicated that the market thought of it as the iPod “bargain basement” model.

The most important lesson you learn from validating your startup idea is UVP. This differentiates you from the competition in the market. For example, Google Chrome is fast. On the other hand, being brave means protecting your position.

Whatever your offering is, you need to make sure that consumers see you as having a product that outperforms competitors in the market.

Failure #3: Google Glass

I wish you could have seen my fascination when I first watched the Google Glass demo movie. It looked like something out of a science fiction movie, like a device that had come to life.

With its built-in augmented reality screen, Google Glass gave us an entirely new user interface to interact with.

What is an example of a failed product launch

When Google launched this device, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who believed that smart glasses were the way of the future. But Google Glass fell short of expectations and had a long list of issues, including:

  • Cost: Buying a pair of Google Glasses required spending around $1,500, which limited the product’s target market to affluent tech lovers.
  • Acceptability in society: Wearing Google Glass brings social stigma; To put it bluntly, people assumed you were a pervert. This was because you could use your smart glasses to take photos and movies without the person in front of you knowing.
  • UX and Design: Google Glass was somewhat underwhelming. People felt uncomfortable using something heavy like Google Glass, as they were used to wearing lightweight glasses.

The failure of Google Glass surprised no one and the tech giant was forced to shut it down.

Lesson Learned: Create innovative products with social acceptance in mind

Introducing anything completely new to the market can be fraught with difficulties because people are not accustomed to the new method of doing things (such as driving a car when a horse-drawn carriage is nearby).

This means that by using your products, there is a possibility that they will look and feel uncomfortable in social situations. In the example of Google Glass, if the company was able to address the privacy issues related to the use of smart glasses it might be able to overcome the problem of social acceptance.

Failure #4: Samsung Galaxy Note 7

And the horrific battery-related failure experienced by this particular model only reminds us of this. Many technical, safety, and quality assurance flaws will cause batteries to catch fire and turn your phone into a portable inferno.

The disastrous PR incident resulted in airlines deciding to prevent individuals from carrying the device on their planes, which left many people suffering from burns and other illnesses.

What is an example of a failed product launch

Another major shortcoming of Samsung was its slow response to this crisis. By the time they acknowledged the true size of the problem and started working on a solution, the reputation of both Samsung and the Galaxy Note series was ruined.

Reuters estimates that the total financial loss from this failure was approximately $17 billion.

Moral of the story: Ignoring safety and security will harm your image

Once a brand’s reputation is damaged, it is very difficult to recover it. When the matter is examined in its entirety financially, it is much less expensive to invest in top-level safety and security than to pay for potential losses due to a damaged reputation.

However, more importantly, your first concern should always be the safety, security, and general well-being of your customers.

Failure #5: Amazon Fire Phone

Moving on to the topic of cell phones, let’s go back to the time when every company was trying to enter the market with any device. The Amazon Fire Phone was one of the most notable “meh” products in this selection.

What is an example of a failed product launch

Using this phone, it was clear that Amazon had no intention of making a high-quality product that consumers would love – rather, they were only interested in getting into the smartphone business to do so.

The integration of the Fire Phone with Amazon’s ecosystem, which mostly involved purchasing goods from their e-commerce site, served to differentiate their product. Amazon’s ecosystem was lagging behind Apple and Android in almost every area except integration of commerce.

As a result, the Fire Phone was a complete failure.

I learned that ecosystems are important

In today’s digital environment, products are not separate entities. Customers typically deploy multiple objects together to cover a particular use case. For example, it would be necessary to use a smartphone, a streaming app, a set of Bluetooth headphones, etc. while listening to music.

Customers will prefer products and solutions that allow them to cover their use case with a seamless user experience, which is the most important factor to consider in this situation. As for Apple, you have AirPods, which easily pair with your iPhone and let you listen to your music on Apple Music.

The lesson to be learned from the Fire Phone failure is that you will either need to establish an ecosystem that competes with or surpasses your competitors or ensure that your products work within the major ecosystems that already exist. Match perfectly with one of the.

Failure #6: HP Touchpad

It wasn’t like everyone was trying to build their smartphones in the early 2010s. Everyone was trying to enter the new product category created by Apple.

What is an example of a failed product launch

As tablets became popular, everyone tried to create something that could rival the quality of the iPad. With its HP TouchPad, HP was attempting to enter the tablet industry and joined the fray as well.

The TouchPad is not an inferior device in my opinion (unlike the Fire Phone). Its UX was passable and its feature set respectable. However, this tablet had several shortcomings, such as:

  • Weak App Store: HP was having trouble getting developers to create apps for its webOS operating system, which led to an inadequate app library.
  • Poor Performance: Unlike the iPad (and really, any Apple product), the HP TouchPad was completely useless due to poor performance, load times, and frame rates.
  • Cost: The iPad and HP TouchPad were priced similarly. However, it had a very low price-performance ratio compared to Apple.

Additionally, HP had trouble positioning and selling the product, and as these challenges grew, the TouchPad was discontinued by HP in its first year of business – only 49 days after it was first introduced.

Takeaway: Superior third-party content is essential for products that depend on it

If the content that other people or businesses create for your product adds value to it, you should make sure that you treat these creators fairly and provide them with the right incentives to create content for you. Are.

Microsoft made sure that Xbox supported DirectX during development so that it would be easier to port PC games to Xbox. Since many PC game developers preferred Xbox over PlayStation when porting their titles, this gave them a competitive edge over PlayStation.

Since Xbox had so many great games, people immediately started choosing it over Playstation and the device took off.

It’s okay to Fail

As is evident from the above list, some of the biggest failure stories involve IT companies that have achieved huge success with other things they have introduced in the market. The point is, as they say, you never really know what you don’t know, and you can never tell whether your product will be an instant hit or a complete failure.

Thus, the optimal strategy is to develop, introduce, and invest in those that do not perform as expected, and continue to develop those that do.

For now, I hope this article has helped you understand What is an example of a failed product launch?

Have you ever wondered how Adidas founder Adolf Dassler made his fortune from one idea Check out The Untold Story of Adolf Dassler’s Creative Legacy, plus more in my Startup section.