Don’t see what you’re looking for in this FAQs about Great Products? Send an email to [email protected].

What are the characteristics or elements of a great product?

The following is taken from What Makes a Great Product.

A great product is about much more than features and functions, than just solving a problem. A great product addresses the Body (knows the user), Mind (delivers value), and Spirit (elegant & touches emotions). Here are the key characteristics from our network of over 300K Product experts:

  • Delivers great value – the product solves a real user’s [or market’s] problem
  • Price per value – users are willing to pay for the value they receive from the product
  • Improves life – the product provides meaning and makes the user’s life better
  • Easy onboarding – getting started with the product is easy; the desired value can be achieved quickly
  • Aesthetically pleasing – the product is attractive; the solution provided is “elegant”
  • Emotionally resonates – the user feels good when they use the product
  • Exceeds expectations – delivers more value than expected
  • Social proof – credible reviews testify to the value of the product. There is a buzz in the market praising the product
  • Habit-generating – you want to keep going back to use the product more often
  • Scalable – the more of the product that is produced, the less the cost per unit
  • Reliable – the product can be counted on to operate correctly with no errors
  • Safe – the product can be operated in a safe manner and causes no safety issues
  • Compliance – the product meets all regulatory & industry requirements
  • Easy-to-use – the product is intuitive; it learns about the user and anticipates their needs
  • Performs well – the product is responsive; it delivers results in a timely manner.
What metrics will show whether a product is successful?

At Products That Count, we view product metrics through 3 lenses:

  • acquisition – how are you doing acquiring customers?
  • engagement – how engaged are your users?
  • monetization – how is the product doing making money?

Metrics gauging the success of your product should have been called out in the business case. They will vary by industry and product, but often include the following:

  • Financial – revenue, expense, profit, gross margin
  • Market – # customers, market share, growth rate, Monthly Active Users (MAU – paid and free)
  • Customer – NPS, performance, reliability/quality, product usage

To be of value, a metric must provide insights and be actionable.


Why do products fail?

Three out of four product managers have been in their roles for two years or less. This can often result in many PMs acting more like project managers or order takers than product managers. Oftentimes, this will lead to building what the Sales or Engineering teams ask for, rather than what the market dictates. Additionally, once they know the basics of their craft, they jump ship to join firms with strong product cultures.

Read Ramifications of Ineffective Product Management to get a broader picture of why poorly trained and poorly mentored product managers are ineffective and cause products to fail.

What is the impact of product failure?

Ineffective product management comes at a cost. For starters, one in three product launches fail. Additionally, there is a 30 percent lost Product Team & Engineering throughput and significant missed revenue. This is especially painful in a recession where the company needs every team to be highly productive and effective. On top of that, the success of digital transformations is threatened by low-performing Product teams.

Employees recognize when a Product team is not effective and will begin to search for another job, resulting in a ~30% turnover rate within the Product team. This hinders the ability to correct the problem as frequently it is the best product managers that leave.

See both of these articles to understand more about ineffective product management:

How can I prevent my product from failing?

The first steps to prevent failure is to understand the Characteristics of a Great Product and Why Products Fail.

The Strategic Bootcamp Product Management Course with Personalized Mentoring from Products That Count enables any organization to learn the craft of product management through a personalized, scalable approach. This isn’t one-time self-guided training, which typically fails.

The Bootcamp has 3 distinct capabilities:

  • World-class content from influential product executives at the most innovative companies.
  • Depth on product topics from all industries, geographies, and stages of maturity.
  • Progressive programs to continuously stay sharp, deepen knowledge and grow impact.

The Products That Count approach is scalable, for companies big and small. It’s personalized (versus cookie cutter), with unique content that is tailored to your product teams. It’s also a continuous learning experience (i.e., ongoing, versus one-time), with new content being refreshed monthly.

We also understand that everyone learns differently. That’s why we offer content in many forms. There is content available to be consumed by listening, watching, reading, or interacting live at a webinar or during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session.

For details, see Personalized Product Mentorship at Scale.

Companies that have participated in the program saw

  • a 30% increase in productivity of the a PM and Engineering teams
  • 9 out of 10 customers saw increased productivity in <30 days
  • 30% boost in growth mindset, i.e. innovation, within 3 months

For information on building great products, see

How can I build a great product?

Products That Count has thousands of free resources to help you build great products. Our podcasts, eBooks, videos, articles, blogs, and infographics will help you learn the craft of product.

Check out the following pages:

as well as these podcasts and videos from our network of 300K+ product experts:

Don’t see what you’re looking for in this FAQs about Great Products? Send an email to [email protected].

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