Successful Products Are All Alike; Every Unsuccessful Product Is Unsuccessful In Its Own Way

Like so many of my podcasts, this episode started from a Slack conversation last week. “What are some good products that were marketed badly?”

Of course, if a good product is marketed badly, that usually means it’s going to fail, which usually means no one ever heard of it. But the fact is that there are lots of ways for a product to fail – it can be bad marketing, it can be a bad product (Juicero, anyone?), or it can solve a problem that no one cares about.

This realization put me in mind of Tolstoy’s great opening line from Anna Karenina:

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Tolstoy, 1st line of Anna Karenina

This idea, with a little rewriting, applies perfectly to products, not just families.

I hope you enjoy the episode. Let me know in the comments what you think about this idea, or if you have other questions you’d like me to answer in an episode.