Admitting Your Product Sucks

That Tim Guy
3 min readJul 14, 2022

I’d say that greater than half of all redesigns and refreshes to sites these days are only hanging an air freshener on the dead corpse that is your product. I’m a tad tired and burned out, this is a rant forming, it too is incomplete, but I wanted to get the concept off my chest.

It’s OK to Admit It

I’ve been on the team tasked with building a product that got me interested in taking the job but had a definite end. You get to a point where you know you are creating something that once built, will not be updated for the better part of a decade. You know you are creating legacy cruft, but it’s ok; KTLO also pays the bills.

Losing Faith, Keep Working

There is a point where the mission becomes a job, that then becomes a chore for money. When people lose interest in making it better either by the folly of bad management or product choices, to just worthless incremental changes. Your product won’t suffer or succeed on the number true believers in your org.

Everything is a Great Idea Until Customers Use It

Yeah, just about everything you buy has a few moments, or even an eternity, of buyer’s remorse. Disappointment comes in many forms, and many products are things people are more curious about than they actually need so you’ll hear people trashing and throwing tantrums ar Siri.

Addicts say nothing is ever as good as the first hit, but you also face this problem. I feel duped by convenience devices, software, or anything that is a new or 2.0 version of the prior product.

You ran out of Ideas

Ok, so it is entirely possible that you have achieved as many sales as you can, maybe you have a limited or marginal utility to what you sell or there really isn’t a way to change the product. You need to put your ego aside and acknowledge that you have run your course.

To be blunt; you knew what the perfect version of the product was but took all the good features off to add them back in to prolong product lifecycles.

Make-Work Projects

Yeah, loads of hiring, and spending in: SEO, designs, UX, the latest fad in JavaScript, mobile, social media. A leader should see this as people trying to keep their jobs if you have been not seeing the ROI on the last redesign that was probably only 3 years ago. 3 years is about as long as a site lives before it is a mess of code and needs help anyway.

Throw Out All Ideas

There is a freshness date on all ideas, know yours and know when you need to start from scratch, but also be comfortable with the idea that maybe your idea may not be ripe yet.

Drowning in Hubris

Some people taste success, they believe that they can be #1 again, it is just others that lack faith because you are a certified genius or something. Your team egos will cripple you. There are one trick ponies and total flukes. This just may be you. Maybe your previous success was an outlier, an anomaly but your ego will make you think that isn’t possible.



That Tim Guy

Coder, photog, stick-shifting, animal lover, gardener, cook, comedian, from 11746 living in 90210.