You can’t always save a bad product…
It is often possible to take an abysmally performing product and actually turn it into a star through a little breakthrough imagination. You can alter your target markets, the sales process, the channels you sell through, the positioning, packaging, modify major elements of the value proposition and a dozen other high leverage plays.
You need to face reality. You can’t teach a pig to sing. It frustrates both you and the pig.
Assuming that A) your team hasn’t been trying the same failed strategy over and over again and B) you’ve given it a reasonable amount of time to succeed – then it may be time to throw the dead weight overboard and focus your efforts on new products and markets where less effort will create far, far greater returns.
No one wants to quit. And most the time folks quit too often. But there are times when NOT quitting can take your entire company into the ground.
I’ve heard that fighter pilots have a tough time yanking on the ejection seat chord. By nature, everything in them wants to keep fighting it. They believe they can pull the plane out of the death spiral. And that can cost them their lives.
If you relate more to cards, then listen to Kenny Rogers, “you have to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.”
When I was a kid, there was a group of boys who would go out at night, take a white athletic sock, fill it with a few rocks, then spin it and throw it into the night sky. Why? Because for some strange reason bats would hone in on it thinking it was a meal. The bats would fly in and grab the sock with their claws. They’d hold on to that puppy all the way into the ground.
I’ve seen too many instances where a company will dig its claws into a loser and then ride it right into the ground.
It’s a tough call politically and emotionally to kill a project. But that can be the very action that causes your business to thrive.
Problems have a way of attracting the focus of the best and brightest in the company. They also suck resources like a 1970’s V-8 lead sled sucks gas. You may be amazed to see what happens to creativity and sales performance of other products when the resouce hog is removed from your business.
So, don’t be a quitter. But, don’t be stupid-stubborn either.