The operation was successful but the patient died

Date of publication: September 22, 2002

Company: Procter & Gamble

Author: Omar Mahmoud


Most new products fail. Failure is attributed to the proposition (weak advertising, parity product, high price, etc.) or to the marketing plan (inadequate media, low distribution, etc.). This interpretation does not explain why failures continue in spite of the growing knowledge about factors driving success and failure and following a rigorous product launch process. This paper argues that new products fail because of our irrationality and our inability as individuals and groups to avoid many of the thinking errors that affect decision-making. The paper outlines the errors, cites examples, and provides recommendations for improving the innovation decision-making process.

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