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How to Make Your Product Fail

Published on 11th November 2010

This blog post provides a tongue-in-cheek collection of common product creation mistakes. Combined they are a recipe for certain failure and provide a lesson in how not to develop products. Sadly, they are not made-up but based on my experience working with different companies and teams. I hope that listing the mistakes helps you avoid them thereby increasing your chances of developing a successful product.

1. Apply the product owner role pragmatically: Spilt the role across several people or work with a product owner committee.

2. Shoot for the maximum marketable product–a product that pleases everyone and has a myriad of features.

3. Have a can-do attitude, say yes to every requirement, and add it to the product backlog. You surely want to avoid disappointing any stakeholders.

4. Capture and detail all the requirements in the product backlog prior to the first sprint. This reduces uncertainty and risk, and it enables accurate planning and efficient execution.

5. Don’t bother with prioritisation. All requirements are certainly must-have’s.

6. Don’t waste your time collecting user feedback on early product increments and MVPs. You know what’s best for them!

7. Opt for a big-bang release to surprise your competitors, impress your customers, and achieve complete market domination instantly.

8. When push comes to shove, add more features and cut quality. Users love complex products. Don’t worry about technical debt. View it as an opportunity to create a brand-new product in the near future.

9. Tell the ScrumMaster to act as a proper project manager. Work the team hard, and assign tasks to people. Sustainable pace is for wimps.

10. Be a true leader: make sure you get all the praise, and blame others when things aren’t going well.

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1 Comment

  • John says:

    🙂 although comical its slightly scary to think that some companies will actually do some of what you listed Roman, and they probably continue to do it for years.

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