Have a party for the Death of Your Product

If you build a new api product there is a good chance it will be covered on http://www.mindtheproduct.com/ and https://www.programmableweb.com. In addition there will be fan fare, shirts, a release party and probably a hefty bonus for the team who built the product. We celebrate the victory of releasing to internal and external world because getting a product out the door is a milestone achievement that should be celebrated.

In contrast when an api product has lost all of its customers and developers are spending their time refactoring code We Dont Celeberate the death of the product. When a product dies we are good and finding reasons why the product is not succeeding. Usually there is a back and forth discussion about the product and potential customers. There is the discussion that the market was not identified, sales did not provide the right pitch or worse the technology failed from a support and maintenance perspective. These back and forth excuses only extends the life of a product until all parties involved hate each other, leave the company and lose faith in the product team.

I argue that rather than putting effort into finding reasons why the product is not succeeding we should identify key data points that identify success and if the product does not meet those data points then we should celebrate the death of a product. We should provide fanfare, shirts and a wake for the product. By celebrating the death of a product we are living into the model of fail quickly and learn. We are celebrating the life of the product and we are taking the learnings to build a better product the next time.