Founders Forum SIG: Why Products Fail



  • Monthly Meeting of the Founders Forum SIG



    Karen “KJ” Janowski


    Presentation Overview

    The majority of new products fail. Specific failure percentages are a matter of some debate, but no one can disagree with the harsh reality that launching new products is hard. Product innovators and academics who study this issue agree: most new products do not meet their financial goals in the marketplace. While some failures are the result of bad luck or unfortunate timing, most of the factors affecting a new product’s market success or failure can be controlled or influenced by startup founders and company executives. Product failures are often the result of poor planning, a weak price-value relationship, and mediocre execution. This month's guest speaker, Karen Janowski, will outline the top 10 reasons why new products fail, provide examples, and recommend steps to avoid these mistakes. Examples will be drawn from Karen’s personal experience at Cisco, Electronic Arts, Resumix, ROLM, Quantum, VideoStream, and a variety of KJ & Co. clients. Attendees will gain an appreciation for some of the major pitfalls in bringing new products to market--from conception to launch and beyond. This is a chance for attendees to consider which factors might affect the success of their current product development and launch efforts and what they can do to improve their chances of success in the marketplace. As usual, we will restrict attendance to the first 25 founders and CEOs that sign up, so sign up fast!


    About the Presenter

    Karen Janowski is Principal of KJ & Co. (, a product marketing strategy consultancy. She has over 20 years experience in bringing new technology products to market. Karen has successfully launched over 30 products which generated over $500 million in revenue. She developed this talk based on extensive experience, personal observations, and input from other technology executives. Her clients include: Adaptive Planning, Balthaser Online, Cisco Systems, LoopNet, Microsoft, and numerous other companies ranging in size from startup to established industry leaders. Prior to founding KJ & Co. in 1997, Karen served as vice president of marketing for 12 years in a range of technology companies including: Electronic Arts, Epyx, Resumix, Quantum Corp. and VideoStream. She has been a member of the executive teams of four pre-IPO startup companies. Karen has written numerous white papers and articles on such topics as product portfolio analysis, product pricing, and managing market research. She has a BS in economics and finance from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley and an MBA in marketing and small business management from Stanford University.



    To use a coupon or register by phone, please call (408) 494-8378.

    Pre-registration is no longer available.
    Please register at the door.




    111 West Saint John, Suite 200

    San Jose, CA 95113

    Phone: 408-494-8378

    Note: the building doors lock at 7:00pm. If you arrive after 7:00pm,
    please call 408-494-8378.


    6:00pm-6:30pm - registration

    6:30pm-8:30pm - discussion



    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members

    No charge for SDForum members

    Restricted to Founders and CEOs

    Seating limited to 25.

    Please call 408.494.8378 for student memberships

    Pre-registration for this event is closed.
    Please register at the door.

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