The problem with successful products
This content was originally published more than ten years ago and is archived here for preservation.
More up-to-date content is available on this blog.
I once worked with a chap who managed an online service, which charged by amount of data stored. The service was popular and growing its revenues, however the P&L model assumed that data was stored compressed, when in fact the reverse was true. Thus, the more popular the service became, the more it lost money on running costs…
A product manager who thinks they’ve got an easy ride because their product is a cash cow is probably missing the point.
A slightly more serious observation on the article is that a product manager who thinks they’ve got an easy ride because their product is a cash cow is probably missing the point. While failing or unpopular products have a more obvious set of problems to tackle, successful ones have a different set of arguably trickier problems:
- How do I keep my product relevant in a market of changing needs and evolving competitors?
- How do I maintain customer satisfaction with the product?
- How do I (and should I) revitalise or extend the product to generate incremental revenue?
- When does it make most sense to phase out this product?
- What product do I create to replace this one?
Perhaps one cause of this may be that we’re so easily enamoured with the immediate success of our products that we’re distracted from considering how to evolve, grow and replicate that success elsewhere.
How would you go about answering these questions?
Get articles when they’re published
My articles get published irregularly (erratically, some might say). Never miss an article again by getting them delivered direct to your inbox as soon as they go live.