This article by Andrew Chen, talks about the “Product Death Cycle,” a concept he took from a tweet by David Bland. I agree with the analysis of what causes a product to enter the cycle, but I’m curious what others think. Is this cycle a real concern for some companies? And if a product does enter into this cycle, what, if anything, can help it break out?
Focus on What Customers do-Not What They Say
This is an interesting cautionary tale, but I say the culprit is the cycle, not the practice. It seems to be directly fed into by what the article identifies as the "Next Feature Fallacy". However, if you only follow these three steps in a linear sequence, you get results or failure, but can move onto an alternative approach.
This is reminiscent of a similar parable, "The Fallacy of Lowering Prices" (see abridged summary below). However, neither case should be upheld as a ban on these considerations. We will often need to look at numerous Best Practices to find solutions that fit the issues at hand. Lowering prices and accessing customer insight should certainly remain in the toolkit for addressing business issues, and will at times be the correct strategy.
The Fallacy of Lowering Prices:
Suppose you sell widgets that cost $0.25 per unit, and sell for $1.00 per unit.
Last month you sold 500 units generating $500.00 revenue, and $375.00 profit.
The resulting question is, "will the lower price result in enough gained sales to counteract the loss in revenue?"