Grant Yourself the Possibility to Succeed

Do you have a novel and innovative idea of how to conquer a market with your software product? Take a breather and read further. I will share one personal story of failure and how the loss could have been avoided.

I had the opportunity to lead software development projects in my earlier positions. One of the projects was extremely interesting. We found underserved customer needs within one of our focus industries. We did our homework and concluded that there was market potential and competition. But our competition had taken a different approach to solve customer needs. We decided to create a solution with a fresh angle and take the market by storm. We concluded that we had a maximum of one year to get into markets to secure our position before our competition could match our offering.

We used Service Design to verify the target users and use cases. We tested the idea with potential customers and got excellent feedback. We hired an experienced development team and chose a cross-platform tool to ensure that we had applications for both leading mobile platforms with minimum maintenance cost. After a year of tedious development and several iterations, we were ready for live customer projects, and then it struck us.

One of the requirements had become compulsory in all customer cases. Customers wanted to have a companion app running on desktops and touch screens.

We knew that our customers would be larger enterprises and public entities. They would make their purchases through the RFP process. We estimated that we had covered all the mandatory requirements and enough of the optional requirements to succeed. But we misjudged. 

Our cross-platform technology didn't support desktop applications but only mobile apps. We knew that we had lost our momentum. We were facing only bad options; hire a new development team for the desktop app, rewrite the whole app, or focus on a niche market with the existing product.

Unfortunately, many software projects fail, and this was my titanic moment. Every one of us will face epic fails at some point and in some form. Let it sink for a while, raise your chin and figure out the learnings. The most significant learning for me from this project was that you might have all the indicators in green for brilliant success, but you can still lower your odds with technology choice. Check how two industry-leading companies Tableau and Qlik have managed to create truly world-class, cross-platform products.


Feature photo by the blowup on Unsplash

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