The product failure that I chose to discuss for this assignment is the once-popu

The product failure that I chose to discuss for this assignment is the once-popular social media website, Myspace. The site paved the way for many modern social platforms, like, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – just to name a few. Myspace was a popular online social networking website, from 2005-2009. I recall, using myspace in 2006 to keep in touch with family and friends. Similar to how we use the UIU’s blackboard of posting weekly discussions, the Myspace user’s profile displayed a photo with different sections for the user to display personal life stories/information to share with their followers or friends. The popular website was also huge for the music scene and functioned as a self-serving advertising platform for those seeking the public spotlight. In 2008, at Myspace’s peak, it had over 115 million users and was reported to be worth as much as $12 billion Albanesius, C. (2009).
What went wrong? They failed to be innovative in retaining current users and attracting new users. Digital markets are used to exchange information for goods and services. Facebook surpassed Myspace in the number of users and visitors to the website. Zingales & Lancieri (2019). An article that I found stated that Myspace originally started with a target audience of those aging from 13-18 years of age. This in-turn did not help with retaining an aging customer base. I think there were two points in which Myspace failed at the innovation process. The Process of Innovation (chapter 9), Mitra (2017) outlines ‘process’ as a crucial link between types and forms of innovation. I think the failure point was at the Selection step in their strategic choice, in which the management selected an age group but did not consider the natural aging of their target audience, which also falls under Value Generation, which failed to produce an adult platform for continued use for a growing customer base, amongst other failures.
The original developers of Myspace sold the business to News Corporation for $580 million, which later depreciated and sold, reportedly under $50 million. It was the first social network to reach a global audience. I recall first using Myspace in 2006, while I was stationed in South Korea. Myspace was growing in popularity amongst the South Korean locals that I served with. The company’s service of social networking is a continued relevant product. Myspace just failed to improve the Social Networking experience, it fell behind as competitors, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram took the lead.
Lastly, Matta and Ashkenans (2003) noted in their review, that managers cannot identify, plan for, and influence all the variables and players in advance, however they can create an ongoing process of learning and discovery through their leadership by creating an environment for employees to produce results. On that note, I think companies can make their innovation process robust enough to catch product failures before they happen by using the tools such as Porter’s Five Forces Analysis and the four outlining Innovation Process while still remaining flexible and agile before, during, and after the creation of the product.
Zingales, L., Lancieri, F. (2019). Stigler Committee on Digital Platforms: Policy Brief Stigler-Committee-on-Digital-Platforms-Final-Report.pdf (
Albanesius, C. (2009). More Americans Go to Facebook Than MySpace. PC Magazine, June 16.
Matta, N., Ashkenans, R. (2003). Why Good Projects Fail Anyway. Business Harvard Review
Mitra, J. (2017). The Business of Innovation. ISBN: 978-1-4462-080-2

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