Studies show that more than 30,000 new products for consumers are developed every year. The reason for this high number of new products is that entrepreneurs know that innovation is key to business success. Unfortunately, turning ideas into reality is not always as easy as it seems. In fact, it is quite common to experience various problems and issues during the product development phase. But, how can you tell if your product just has problems or if it’s truly defective?

Problems vs Defective

While problems are common during development, this does not mean that all issues lead to a defect. There is a distinct difference between problems and defects. Problems are issues that can be resolved relatively easily. These problems may cause a slight delay in development, but the basic concept for the product remains intact. On the other hand, a substantial defect is a problem that impairs the product’s use, value or safety in a way that often renders the product useless. In cars, significant defects are what you call a “lemon.” Defects can drastically delay product development or even halt the development process altogether.

The Value of Cutting Your Losses

Coming up with a great idea for a new product is one thing, turning that idea into an actual product is another thing altogether. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to understand that taking a great idea and turning it into an actual product is not always possible. You should not get so invested in one specific idea that you lose sight of the bigger picture. There comes a time when you must assess the reality of creating the product, which includes calculating the costs and determining when it’s time to stop production. Sometimes, fixing a defective product is just not worth the extra investment. It’s vital to the success of your business that you know when to cut your losses and move on to other projects.

How to Solve Your Problems

If you have determined that you have a problem and not a defect, the first step is to identify the exact problem with the product. Use product testing and focus groups to narrow down what the exact problem is with the product. It will be impossible to come up with a viable solution if you haven’t properly diagnosed the issues with the product. Work with your development team to brainstorm a variety of possible solutions. There is a high likelihood that the actual solution will be a combination of these brainstorming ideas. In addition, take some time to research other markets with similar problems to see if a solution used by another industry may work for you.

Knowing the difference between a product problem and a product defect can help you save both time and money. Be sure to only invest in those solutions that have a high probability of success, and know when it’s time to cut your losses and focus on a new idea.

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