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How to spot a tech company that's about to lose

Rob Enderle | Sept. 22, 2014
The list of failed tech products and companies is a long one, from A (Apple server) to Z (Microsoft Zune). If you're buying IT products and services, you need to be able to spot potential failures. A firm's unwillingness to do whatever it takes to succeed should be a telltale sign.

In the end, you need to ask whether the vendor will do what it takes to succeed: Focus on its market segment first, not its product. Assess its strategy. Is it funded to succeed, or does it seem not to know what's required? Is it willing to do what's needed, or does it offer excuses? If you conclude that the vendor won't, then it won't matter what the product can or can't do, it will fail in market. You don't want to be left explaining why you bought a product from a vendor that was obviously, in hindsight, not going to succeed.

This doesn't just apply to smaller firms. Large, dominant ones often start treating their winning platform as a cash cow and cut back on critical investment. When you see that, it's time to consider moving to a platform that won't be on the wrong side of the bell curve.

Think about the projects you're responsible for. How many of them are resourced based on what you have time to do, rather than what's required to do the job right?  


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