Micah James December 4th, 2023

How Should Startups Escape From Product Death Cycle?

Unlike the software development life cycle, the product death cycle is an important constraint that shouldn’t be overlooked by startups. 

Many startups avoid it and fail to grasp good market opportunities along with untapped profits they could make.

Frequent analysis of product cycles is essential for startups to sustain good value in the market with loyal customers so they can serve better and better every day. 

But what if you encounter a product death cycle in between? How can startups avoid the product death cycle? Let’s find out in this article. 

Understanding Product Death Cycle 

But first, what is the product death cycle all about? 

In the age of competitiveness, startups often encounter a crucial phase known as the "Product Death Cycle." 

This cycle refers to a stage where a product continuously loses its market relevance and faces the risk of losing potential buyers along with trust and values. 

Significantly for startups this stage is crucial and cannot be avoided as a risk of business failure. Hence, understanding and effectively navigating this cycle is vital for their survival and success.

Causes For Product Death Cycle 

Certain causes can cause your product to experience a death cycle and those are discussed below. 

Lack of Market Research

Poor market research is one of the significant causes of the product death cycle.

Startups sometimes fail to understand the evolving needs and preferences of their target audience. Might leave them in the creation of products that may not align with market demands.

Aggressive Competition

Startups are well familiar with the ratio of competitiveness in the modern days. If not studied properly could impact them brutally. 

Constantly explore your competitors and similar selling brands’ strategies they incorporate in time. Many companies fail here and as a result, are replaced by competitors’ more innovative solutions. 

Inflexibility in Adaptation

The inability to bring change or too rigid policies can trap in the product death cycle. A good product always nurtures market demand and the constant preference of customers to serve better, every day. 

The inability to adapt to market shifts or technological advancements can lead to irrelevance.

Strategies To Escape Product Death Cycle

Indeed, a good strategy is needed to solve or escape the product death cycle. Here's a comprehensive explanation of these strategies:

Agile Business Model

Using an agile business model is essential. 

It allows companies to be perfect, responsive, and flexible in adapting to changing market dynamics. 

It brings new development, regular feedback loops, and quick adjustments based on customer feedback. 

By following business models as planned startups can remain relevant in the ever-evolving market.

Customer-Centric Approach

Prioritizing the customer is fundamental. 

By deeply understanding their needs, preferences, and pain points. Startups can better serve them to match their expectations in time.

Regular interaction, feedback collection, and a focus on user experience contribute to a more successful product in the market. 

Innovation and Adaptation

Innovation is the essence of a savior. Therefore, if startups fail to imply innovation they might not be able to escape the product death cycle. 

Startups need to continually innovate and adapt to emerging trends, technologies, and market shifts. 

Also, this helps them stay forefront and step forward from their competitors. As much as possible, invest in research and development to innovate new features. 

Working on the aforementioned strategies would help your business escape from product death cycle. 

I have drawn an example assuming myself as a product manager of a reputed U.S. based firm. Let’s draw a strategy to tackle the product death cycle scenario. 

How Product Manager Escape The Product Death Trap?

Being a product manager is a responsible job and a situation like a product death trap makes you more liable to escape to ensure better continuity and demand for your product in the market. 

In order to tackle product death cycle, you must navigate challenges, and stay adaptable, and very important thing is that the product remains relevant and successful. 

Here are some key strategies to anticipate to trump over the product death cycle. 

Customer-Centric Approach

  • Stay connected with your customers. Regularly gather feedback through surveys, interviews, and analytics.
  • Understand their pain points and needs. Prioritize features and improvements based on customer value.

Agile Methodology

  • Use an agile approach to development. Break down projects into smaller, manageable tasks.
  • Adapt quickly to changes in market conditions, technology, or user requirements.

Continuous Improvement

  • Create a culture of continuous improvement. Encourage your team to learn from both successes and failures.
  • Periodically to identify areas for improvement in processes and products.

Market Research and Trend Analysis

  • Stay informed about industry trends, emerging technologies, and competitors.
  • Conduct regular market research to identify new opportunities and potential threats.

Data-Driven Decision Making

  • Take decisions considering data rather than assumptions. Use analytics tools to gather insights into user behavior and product performance.
  • Set up key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your product.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

  • Foster collaboration between different departments, including development, marketing, sales, and customer support.
  • Break down silos to ensure everyone is aligned with the product vision and goals.

Risk Management

  • Identify potential risks early on and develop mitigation strategies.
  • Regularly reassess risks and adjust strategies based on changing circumstances.

Product Lifecycle Management

  • Understand the various stages of the product lifecycle. If required re-plan for updates, and new features.
  • Allocate resources accordingly to each stage of the product's life.

User Experience (UX) Design

  • Prioritize a seamless and intuitive user experience. A well-designed product can contribute significantly to its success.
  • Gather user feedback on the usability of the product and make improvements accordingly.

Communication Skills

  • Clearly communicate the product vision, goals, and progress to all stakeholders.
  • Be transparent about challenges and solicit input from team members to find effective solutions.

Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Be open to change and ready to pivot if market conditions or user needs shift.
  • Avoid becoming overly attached to a specific solution and be willing to explore alternatives.

By incorporating these strategies, a product manager can increase the chances of their product thriving in the dynamic and competitive business environment, avoiding the pitfalls that can lead to the product death trap.


Product death cycle is an important factor to examine. To keep running the product life cycle flexible and smooth. It is important to rectify a product's loophole before it threatens business failure. 

Consider the signs leading to the product death cycle and implement proactive strategies to escape this phase. 
Think of the best innovation labs in the world and rehearse the competitive landscape to avoid product death cycle.

Featured image by Israel Andrade on Unsplash

Micah James

Micah is an avid writer contributing for The Next Tech for the past five years. He enjoys sharing tech guides to help readers to learn more every day, new.

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