Recently I was talking with some entrepreneurs and the topic of second products came up. Here, a second product would be an additional product offering that’s a true, standalone product and not an add-on to the original product. Without missing a beat, everyone went around and said that every second product they launched failed.
I’ve been there. I’ve tried launching a second product multiple times and they all failed. Why?
Here are a few thoughts:
- Lack of Product/Market Fit – Inevitably, a new product doesn’t accurately meet the needs of the customers. Even with one product that does have product/market fit, it’s incredibly hard to build a second one.
- Must-Have vs Nice-to-Have – Very few products are a must-have. The chances are high that while the first product was a must-have, the second product was a nice-to-have.
- Best People Challenge – With one product working, the likelihood that the very best people are assigned to a new product is low. And, if they are assigned to the new product and the first product starts to have issues, they’ll be pulled back to the first product immediately.
Second products can work but entrepreneurs would do well to maximize every element of their core product before expanding.
What else? What are some other reasons why second product initiatives fail?