10 reasons for why great new product development ideas go nowhere

Categories: Agile | Innovation | New product development | NPD | R&D Labs | Testing |

I was recently doing some research on new product development (NPD) and came across an excellent blog from Ian McAllister.  Ian (as the blog notes) runs Amazon’s worldwide Wish List and Registry business.  The blog perfectly documents why some product ideas just don’t cut it!

The following section is reprinted directly from Ian McAllister’s blog:

Top 10 Reasons Good Product Ideas Don’t Get Implemented

  1. Your idea is a bad idea – Let’s dispense with this one first. Some ideas are just stinkers and would actually damage the product if implemented or be costly with no return on investment.
  2. Your idea is a small idea or only affects a small user segment – This is a common one. Your idea helps users only a little bit, or helps only a few of them. There are bigger fish to fry.
  3. Your idea is a solution in search of a problem – This is every presentation you ever saw at ETech. It is every technology developed without an end-user in mind, but with a customer bolted on later. You know it when you see it.
  4. Your idea has unintended consequences – Your product idea is pure goodness, but its value is neutralized or minimized by a side effect that is pure badness.
  5. Your idea is in a non-strategic area – Within every product or business there are strategic, investment areas and non-strategic areas. To win, businesses must focus their energy and effort on the former, which often requires that they starve the latter. If your idea affects a non-strategic area, it might be a great one but still doesn’t make sense to implement.
  6. Your idea is not as good as other ideas – If a product is managed well, then your idea needs to be prioritized against many other good ideas. Your idea may get implemented, but only when the well of better ideas runs dry.
  7. Your idea has legal or privacy obstacles – Plenty of good ideas have been rightfully killed by lawyers just doing their jobs.
  8. Your idea has problematic dependencies – The dependency might be another internal product, a vendor, or a partner company. The problems might be political, technical, or financial.
  9. Your idea is based on untestable assumptions (i.e. leaps of faith) – Note the distinction between untested and untestable.
  10. Your idea would require a strategic shift – No matter how good, it may not be powerful enough to overcome the product’s inertia.


Belatrix works with firms that are constantly working to innovate their products and gain marketshare.   Though Belatrix Software R&D Labs, using Agile methodologies we help to  transform those ideas into software development reality.  From creation of product architectures to rapidly build prototypes, you and your teams can then determine how feasible it is to invest and take that new product line to market.  Once your idea is vetted and allocated to receive investment, we then build out the product and deploy them, gaining you a high quality, tested solution to take to market.

To learn more, contact businessdevelopment@belatrixsf.com.

Leave a comment