Tuesday, May 16, 2006

7 More Reasons Why Web Apps Fail

Bokardo follows up on reasons why web apps fail...

"This is a follow-up to my post 7 Reasons Why Web Apps Fail. As will the first list, this list is by no means a complete account of every reason why a web app might fail. There are countless reasons, I’m sure, and most are part of a failing strategy and don’t do the damage all by themselves. I have focused on reasons made prominent by the current situation we find ourselves in: with extremely low barriers to creation alongside an explosion of social web applications. This combination is interesting and we’re seeing the evolution of social software in near real-time.

They’re never built.
I’ve had the same conversation with many folks: good idea for web application, but not enough motivation to build it. In fact, I fall into this category. I have several prototypes sitting on my hard drive of little applications that could be something someday, and I’ve run out of steam developing them. I get distracted, start doing something else. However, this is probably a confidence issue as much as a time issue. We’re simply not sure if what we build would be successful and investing the time it takes to push it to completion is daunting. An interesting story cropped up recently about this: Michael Arrington of Techcrunch wrote about how Squidoo.com seems to be failing, suggesting that it cast a dark shadow over Seth Godin’s reputation as a marketer, and that it wouldn’t be long before Seth distances himself from it. In other words, Mike was equating Seth’s reputation with the product he built. This is precisely why it is scary to build something in the public eye. People can ridicule it, and often do. But even if Squidoo doesn’t succeed (which is uncertain) I doubt that Seth will see it as anything other than a learning experience. Now if only the rest of us could.
They’re modeling an offline activity incompletely.
This happens a lot in banking web apps. I recently switched from my bank to one with better online features. It wasn’t that my former bank couldn’t handle the transactions, but they could only do so if I actually went to the bank and talked with a teller. This is completely frustrating. An incompatibility between an online app and an offline store doesn’t make sense. How many times have you tried to redeem a coupon or gift certificate only to find that you have to go to the store? Well, we’re so used to the online world now that the web app is the store, in both a physical and non-physical sense. "   continued ...   (Via Bokardo)


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