HatchOne recently had to let go of a product development project, not because we didn’t believe in the product but because the business objectives no longer showed success.
This blog highlights the importance of understanding when a great idea might not make it to market. It’s important to keep your eyes wide open and always aware of what is happening in the market, with your competition and your company goals and objectives. Variables will consistently need to be evaluated – market timing, competitor products, changes in user insights research, company goals, technology, and especially any R&D intellectual property (IP). We wrote a blog that shared how important it is to marry product, company and brand for success in a startup – it’s not just about having a great idea but how you build a company to get the idea to market and how you transition from your idea to the company’s product to sell.
This blog shares why a company should keep product strategies evolving and aligned with company goals and to ensure market channels are defined for success.
It’s all about Time and Money
I was fortunate to have worked under a CEO that followed key strategies to successful product management, a method I learned during a Stanford course (the first one ever in my career). Rashid Skaf not only used a team approach to develop measurable goals for company success from manufacturing to design to sales, but the entire company was working towards these team derived goals and objectives. Included in this were Phase Gates to determine if the development time and cost of the project were still inline with the overall company goals.
I had just finished a 3-year development project when Rashid took over the company. This project cost millions and not only missed the market opportunity but missed specifying what users actually wanted in the product. The product did not achieve the revue goals hoped for. These two lessons resonated with me so strongly I’ve never wanted to have this happen to any HatchOne projects.
As soon as HatchOne realizes there is misalignment in product development, company goals or success in the market, hard gut-level decisions are discussed and made if necessary. We recently had to pivot a HatchOne product development for two reasons – missed market opportunities and a potential intellectual property (IP) conflict. This pivot wasn’t a complete loss, just a redirection of development funds. The team was disappointed but in complete alignment of the new company focus and product objectives.
Having a great idea is fun and exhilarating. Designing a company to succeed is humbling, hard work with the potential for huge payoffs.