How to Deal with Failure

A happy ending is what people always strive for and Product Managers are no different. However, unlike in fairy tales, failure is a common occurrence in life. Failure is scary to face head-on and we attempt to avoid it in any possible way. Sadly, failure is an ordeal that everyone has to deal with and we can’t just ignore our mistakes.

There are different levels of failure. The product could completely fail or the product can launch, but its success did not reach your goals. Here are some things to do when you are just experiencing failure and not sure what to do.

Accept Failure

When it comes to failure, DO NOT push it aside and run or blame anyone else for it. 

Accept what has happened and the blame. As a leader, you should be aware that failure does not just affect you but the entire team. By taking the blame you are raising team morale and inspire more effort in their next project.

Analyze the Failure

The product failed for a reason. It could be due to bugs in the program, or a critical or minor detail was overlooked, like the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, iPhone 6 and 6 plus. The Note 7 failed due to the battery being too large for the phone casing, resulting in overheating. The iPhone 6’s casing was too weak, which caused it to bend when placed in pockets. By analyzing these mistakes, it will prepare you for future circumstances where you can prevent these mistakes from happening.

Listen to the Users

Your product didn’t appeal to your intended users. Listen to them to find out why it ended up a failure. Spend more time investigating what the users think about the product if you didn’t before. The end goal of a product is to be used by their intended target. 

Rethink Your Goals

Once you realize why your product failed, it’s time to set attainable goals. You might have set high goals on your last product, which might have been one of the reasons why your product failed. Consider resources when setting goals and make sure that it is possible to achieve within the given timeframe. 

Take failure as a lesson learned and commit yourself to make sure that these mistakes don’t repeat themselves. Of course, don’t obsess over the mistakes by devoting your attention to preventing them. Take your failures with an open mind and be the best version of yourself.

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