June 20, 2016

Verdict: Classic “Feature Shock”!

Author: Madhavan Ramanujam

In my recent trip to India, I came across an advertisement for a product in the in-flight magazine. I took a picture of it. See below:

Verdict - feature shock

I think this is a classic example of a Feature Shock.

What is a Feature Shock?
Feature shocks are over-engineered product duds that were crammed with too many features and none that stood out. The problem is that when too many features are unnecessary — customers don’t want them, or won’t pay extra for them — they increase the cost and the complexity of the product, and thus raise its price to often unacceptable levels. As a consequence they end up as a One Size Fits None! This is one of the most common monetizing innovation failure type for tech products.

There is also the Minivation, Hidden Gem and the Undead – we have discussed these and Feature Shocks in detail in our latest book: “Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price”. The book outlines a 9 step integrated framework to avoid these failure categories and to fully monetize your new products and get them to the 5th category – the breakthrough!

Let’s come back to the example at hand. The product in question claims to do so many things: click pictures, switch slides, control slides, shows calories and counts steps, and more. I wonder if it can also sing a lullaby for my new born and send me a reminder to pick up the trash? Point made. Verdict is clear – Feature Shock!

Do you have a better example? If so feel free to share it! Would love to hear your stories of innovation mishaps that you think fit the definition of a Feature Shock.