What have been your biggest but yet very constructive failures as Product Managers?

4 replies
In my case, I would say that the biggest failure was delaying the delivery date of a project by a month. 😳 The meeting following this mishap allowed us to identify what went wrong and why. Overall it was very constructive since it allowed us to pinpoint the issues that had gone wrong and how to prevent the same scenario from playing out in the future. Have you ever missed deadlines? How did you deal with it?


Kapil Gadhire
- Trying to deliver the BEST version of the product in the first launch. Let's face it no one can do that - Trying not to fail in marketing campaigns. More failures at the early stage in marketing campaigns will give you more learnings. - Keeping very less scope for making major changes or pivoting the product completely after PMF These were the biggest ones. I can list down SO MANY smaller yet impactful failures too. The best failures make the best products and product managers maybe :D
Michael Silber
At a past job, I was hired to try to build a data schema to rule all data schemas. We thought our position in the ecosystem gave us the authority to determine this and that it would speed up onboarding for all our clients, but in fact there were way too many edge cases and it was going to fail. We pivoted and started building on top of Amazon Redshift (this was 2014 when it was only about a year old), and instead gave the tools to our client services teams to dictate business rules. This was tough since the engineering manager and I had to go to leadership and halt a project that had just spun up a contractor team. We instead decided that we needed to expand our in-house development team, which was a huge shift in how we were structured and how we were aiming to solve this problem. Ultimately, it put us in a great position and the product was well received, but there were growing pains as a result. I don't know that I could have changed much, except perhaps raising the flag a few months earlier. However, still being early in my career, I cut myself some slack on this one.
George Ekisa
I missed a deadline, my adrenaline didn't give me peace. Had to convince the client for more time and did great.
Tim Adair
Not launching fast enough and getting customer feedback. Trying to perfect the product without having market validation. Launch quickly and often.