Success in new product development is unlikely…so?

Tina Nguyen

Tina Nguyen LinkedIn

2 min read · Jan 23, 2024

Partnering with founders and product leaders in startup ventures to coach their teams in new product development, team communication and product design, unleashing their potential to power company growth.

New product development is intense and often fails, but it is so much fun — I love it. In my career at tech startups and big companies, I have worked through many cycles and experienced the enormous stress and pressure that going from 0–1 has on individuals and how that impacts team dynamics. I have experienced ambiguity, uncertainty, doubt, and fear in figuring out how to productize ideas, where failure likely meant the end for a startup (and unemployment) or the dissolution of a business unit inside an established company. Given that 90% of startups fail, good outcomes are unlikely.

Even so, many people are attracted to new product development while unprepared for its demands — I was. Many teams excitedly begin believing they have the answer until reality doesn’t match intuition, despite all their hard work and efforts. At that point, frustrations mount, and tensions rise, further impeding progress. Having been through this process many times in different roles (Engineering, Product, and Design), I have multiple perspectives and the experience to lead teams and coach others through the inevitable ups and downs. It is a bewildering roller coaster ride with tremendous learning opportunities and impact that is less stressful with experienced guidance.

An essential part of coaching teams in new product development is developing healthy interpersonal communication among team members. Team dynamics are intangible but critical. The impact of effective communication may be hard to quantify, but the lack of it can be felt keenly. Team conflict makes succeeding in new product development even more unlikely.

Some think of “unlikely” as a negative term, as in “but that’s not going to happen.” I think of it as “yes and.” Even though the reality of creating a successful new product has a low probability of success, teams can achieve unlikely good things through structured experimentation, short learning cycles, and rapid iteration. While none of this is revolutionary, knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate to action. Having a framework for going from 0–1 is helpful and even better when adapted to suit the team — I’ve done this effectively multiple times by understanding the goals and needs of the team and its members.

In creating a consulting venture to coach teams on new product development, interpersonal communications, and product design, I aim to share the joy that knowing the positive impact of one’s work brings. Outcomes that may have seemed unlikely before may not be unlikely so.

Explore how you can train your team in 0→1, improve team communication, and fully utiltize UX.

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