New England Product Group Blog

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Product Sunk Cost Fallacies

Image Credit pakawoot / Pixabay 

Are you falling prey to the sunk cost fallacy when it comes to your products?

The sunk cost fallacy is a common pitfall in product development that can lead to wasted resources, missed opportunities, and ultimately, failed products. It happens when you continue investing in a product simply because you've already sunk a lot of time and money into it, even if it's no longer serving your customers or meeting your business goals.

But here's the truth: sunk costs are just that – sunk. They are already spent, and you can't get them back. Continuing to invest in a product just because you've already invested in it is like throwing good money after bad.

So what should you do instead? The answer is simple – focus on what's best for your customers and your business, not what you've already sunk into a product. Simple, however, does not equal easy. It can be difficult because it may mean admitting you were wrong or taking a hit to your ego, but you must get past that. Be willing to cut your losses and move on from products that aren't working. 

Based on current objective data, what investment decisions for time and resources would you make today, unfettered from the past? The choice is usually very apparent.

The sunk cost fallacy is just one of many cognitive biases that can hold us back in product development. But by recognizing it and being willing to let go of failed products, you can free up resources to invest in new opportunities that will truly benefit your customers and help your business grow. 

Originally published in Bootcamp on Medium.