Why do 40% of product launches fail?

Adrienne Tan

It’s heart-breaking that, after all the effort that goes into developing and launching a new Product, from so many different people, 40% of product launches fail. But this is what George Castellion and Stephen K. Markham’s landmark study showed [1] and this is what we learned about at the latest Product Talks in Sydney.

Kent Weathers knows a bit about Product success, and failure.

 At our latest Product Talks in Sydney, Kent Weathers, a Product leader with 15+ years’ experience bringing technology products to market, shared his strong opinions on why new product launches will continue to fail. Among his other achievements Kent founded a tech startup in the USA with 2 employees and then grew and scaled it to a global team of 60 in 3 countries before a successful exit. Today, he is Chief Operating Officer at Leadbolt in Sydney.

So, why does Kent think product launches fail?

He says that new products fail for a number of reasons, but some of the most common are:

  • inadequate customer research,
  • lack of true customer benefit,
  • no clear product differentiation,
  • poor design and execution, and
  • lack of effective product marketing.

He shared a framework that any Product Manager can use to significantly increase their chances of a successful launch. It includes multiple case studies which illustrate the lessons Kent has learned from his career.

He also explored what happens after the launch. Can you get a product back on track after a dud launch?

Kent made a great job at linking stories of success and failures of product launches (like Telsta and Juicero). He also invested thousands of dollars in his own education, reading over 36,800 pages across 92 books learning from the best in Product Management, over 15+ years. If you like reading too, you can check out our essential reading list for clever Product people here.

If you like frameworks which are easy to duplicate, with clear steps to follow and templates you can use (backed up by plenty of research, statistics, and case studies) then you missed a stellar meetup. Kent is an inspiring storyteller that entertains while he teaches, and we were so pleased to have had him as our guest speaker for this talk.

Did you miss the last Meetup?

No worries! Here’s a link to the presentation you’ve been asking for: https://www.slideshare.net/brainmates/product-talks-meetup-17-sep-2019-how-to-launch-a-product-by-kent-weathers-173647648

We also recorder a video where you can see Kent in action on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3RR-ZuttGzs


We’re here to support you at each step of your Product Management journey!

Whether you are getting started as a Product Manager, moving into the profession, or complementing your product knowledge, have a look at Brainmates Essentials of Product Management course.

Got your ticket to Leading the Product yet?

Australia’s leading Product Management conference, “Leading the Product” (LTP) is coming up in October. It’s Australia’s first and largest Product Management conference and it attracts over 1,000 Product leaders across Melbourne and Sydney. If you haven’t got your ticket yet members of Product Talks have access to a special discount to, use the code ‘ProductTalks50‘ (or use this link) to snag tickets with $50 off.

Keep your Product Fit, and see you soon!


[1] Journal of Product Innovation & Management 30 pp. 976-979 (2013) http://goo.gl/M88dA5


Adrienne Tan

Adrienne Tan | Author

Adrienne is Co-Founder and CEO of Brainmates and Co-Founder of Leading the Product. She has been championing Product Management since 2000, earning international recognition for raising the profile of the Product Management profession. In this capacity she regularly consults to the Asia-Pacific's top businesses and speaks at business and Product events around the world.

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