75% of products fail in their first year after launch. In this article, we walk through some reasons why digital products might fail, and how to avoid this to successfully launch your first product.
Building a product, whether it's physical or digital, is a massive risk. Entrepreneurs spend huge amounts of time, money, and resources on bringing their product to market. Unfortunately, a vast majority of those products actually fail once they hit the ground running. According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of product launches fail in their first year.
Digital products may take time to perfect, but the most important key to a successful launch is a solid prototype that is tested and perfected before launch, not after.
Let’s walk through some reasons why digital products might fail, and how to avoid this to successfully launch your first product.
1. You’re not starting with your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
“Develop the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), that which has the highest return-on-investment versus risk. It’s the product that’s ‘big enough’ to sell in volume, with good margins, but not so big as to have exponentially increasing risk and investment with each new feature.” - Frank Robinson, CEO of SyncDev, Inc.
Your MVP is the absolute minimum skeleton of a product that helps attract early adopters and learn how to build it into a more robust product. This allows digital product teams to receive effective feedback quickly and iterate accordingly.
Eric Ries, who introduced the concept of the minimum viable product describes the purpose of an MVP as “the version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort.” This way, you’re starting to test your product with the least financial risk possible.
Many entrepreneurs might develop an MVP to:
- Release a product to the market in as little time as possible
- Test a BETA version before spending time and money on full-fledged development
- Learn what features resonate well with the product’s target market
One of the mistakes you could be making as an entrepreneur is that you’re simply starting with too much. Start small, take effective critical feedback, and improve your product before you launch it in full.
2. You’re not testing and changing your product effectively
So now that we know you should be starting with your first step MVP, what’s next? Once you’ve created and launched your MVP to some early adopters, start drawing patterns from user data and go back to the drawing board.
It’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll launch your product perfectly on the first go: users are going to run into bugs, user interfaces they don’t like, frustrations with your product, and they’ll find gaps in your available features.
Some types of user data you can gather in order to effectively re-launch your product include:
- Product surveys with select users
- 1:1 user research interviews
- Study user journeys and data when you build with tools like Bubble.io and Webflow.io
- Using data tools like Amplitude, Full Story, and Google Analytics to understand site traffic and user journeys
- Analyze your competitors and understand the gaps your products fill or don’t fill
Testing and iterating with traditional development can be a costly process. Development teams, even for prototypes, take a lot of resources and time to eliminate bugs and make UI/UX updates. However, when you create an app or MVP using no-code or low-code development, your ability pivot becomes less expensive and much faster.
No-code is a form of application development. As the name suggests, no-code development allows platforms, tools, apps, and web apps to be built without having to write code. It is designed to expedite the often technical and lengthy process of developing an app.
No-code has transformed the speed and agility of building platforms, software, and apps. Adding no-code into your development process not only reduces time-to-launch, but also allows multiple business concepts to be user tested within weeks. This allows you to test and iterate your product effectively at a fraction of the cost, and optimize your design before it even hits the market.
3. Your design process doesn’t emphasize UI/UX
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design is a holistic approach to creating a new product or service. Realistically, your product is only as good as your user’s experience and interaction on the product.
Investing earlier into good UX/UI design will save you significant costs down the line. Approximately 20% of all bugs within a program are directly related to the technical product; the other 80% of bugs are user interface-related that limit your users’ ability to navigate your product.
Your product should be constantly changing to new experiences, new users, and new data that you track as more users join your product. Unfortunately, with traditional programming, iterative design processes can become costly and time-consuming. With no-code development, iterations for the UX design are cheaper, faster, and easier to implement.
Emphasizing UI/UX early on in your design process ensures that your product achieves its goal faster and better for your users. This will ensure that your product is more successful when you launch it into a real market of users.
4. You’re spending too much money and time on development
Developing an app or product can be a huge financial risk. The talent and resources it takes to successfully launch a digital product can cost you anywhere between $40,000 and upwards of $700,000 for a more complex app. Not only that, but your average product will take 9 months or longer to develop.
In recent years, new forms of development have become popularized because they significantly reduce the cost and speed of development of digital products. No-code development tools like Bubble and no-code agencies allow you to significantly increase the efficiency of your development budget.
Research shows that Bubble and no-code development can provide the same result roughly 70% cheaper and 80% faster than traditional development.
If you’re spending too much money and time upfront on your development through traditional frameworks, you’re depreciating the budget you’ll have for post-launch marketing, growth, scaling, and future versions of your product.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to be very efficient with your financial resources in early stage product development and MVP development, especially if you’re relying on impressing your investors.
Though 75% of products fail in their first year, you can take the right steps when developing your product idea to avoid wasting your time and resources. Focus on your users and pivot your product effectively against user research that comes from building your MVP.
Want to build your product MVP? Whether you choose to build an app yourself with no-code software, lean into a no-code agency to bring you a high-quality project on a short timeline, we can help you perfect your digital product idea. Ready to get started? Get in touch with us here.