There are lots of complex ways to evaluate the odds of survival / success of a product. To all of that complexity, I say eff you. All products can be neatly plotted onto a grid with two simple axes: fun and utility.
If your product is just fun, you’re going to have more competition, and your users are going to be more fickle and have shorter attention spans: fun is disposable and replaceable, and everyone’s on the lookout for the next funner thing. Zynga is a good example of a fun-centric product. #hitdrivenbusiness
If you’re long on utility and shorter on fun, you’re in a pretty good spot. It’s difficult to find true utility in the world, and once people are plugged into a useful resource, it takes a lot to lure them elsewhere. Google‘s a truly useful product. [we won’t mention their forays into fun] Bing’s only managed to eek out 8 or so percent of the total search market despite three years of a blood, sweat, and deals.
Ideally your product manages to be both fun and useful, like Apple. Or a burrito, which is packed with protein and fiber but also super delicious. So when you’re standing back and basking in the glory of your product (or your whiteboard scribbles), ask yourself if you’ve created a burrito. If you haven’t, well, F.U.