- Really? That’s terrible, where did you hear that?
- It’s common knowledge! Everyone knows that!
- Yea – but who actually said it?
- Everyone – don’t be stupid.
OK — so we took the stupid pill
We asked people inside 453 companies what their failure rate is. And guess what – the results are the same as they have been since dawn of recorded product research (about 1960). It turns out most empirical research performed over 50 years confirms the product failure rate has been remarkably stable.
The product failure rate is 40% – half the amount that “everyone knows.”
But wait, there’s more
What if you could find out failure rate without asking people inside companies what their failure rate is?
Professor John Stanton looked at 1,500 new products, in eight food categories, introduced during the period 2010-2012. He used data from Mintel’s Global New Products Database to find out the date a product was introduced. He then checked each company’s website and defined a failed product as one not listed on the website at least 18 months after introduction.
The product failure rate is 35% … much less than “everyone believes”.
(2013) Markham, S. and Lee, H Product Development and Management Association’s 2012 Comparative Performance Assessment Study Journal of Product Innovation Management, Volume 30, Issue 3, pages 408–429