* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

What causes failure?

I was looking at some older topics here, where the response was that the products were fantastic and good ideas; but I was shocked by how many no longer exist.  Here's two such examples:

Never Overwrite:
http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz.5.753455.26

Fusion Desk:
http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz.5.432620.33

These apps would, IMO, be far superior to mine, so I'm wondering what might've gone wrong that they no longer exist?  I know that it's probably impossible to tell... but still, I hope it doesn't mean I'll join their ranks in a year or two.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, June 13, 2015
 
 
I would guess that the majority of software products fail to generate the expected level of sales. The commonest reasons seem to be:
-lack of market research
-lack of marketing

See also:
https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/startup-failure-reasons-top/
http://successfulsoftware.net/2010/05/27/learning-lessons-from-13-failed-software-products/
Andy Brice Send private email
Saturday, June 13, 2015
 
 
I'm also wondering whether those coders had day jobs, or threw everything into the ring to launch those products?  I'm lucky in that I still work fulltime for someone else, so I can afford to let traction for my apps take as long as it needs.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, June 13, 2015
 
 
It's hard to say exactly, since every case is unique, but in general, a software company with a good product can still fail if it fails to generate the buzz or acclaim or word-of-mouth (figuratively, since this would be more like "click-of-mouse") distribution needed to get off the ground. I work for a SaaS startup launched in 2008, and we're still creating new content and building links every day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnFR6U0cf8g
Jason Humway Send private email
Thursday, July 02, 2015
 
 

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