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Often, I hear from people how hard it is to stop making a product they love, even when it does not sell well.

Sometimes it's because they really like the product.

Other times, it's because they have a few really faithful customers who love the product.

Still other times, it's simply because they don't have anything to replace the product with, or because they have a million buckets of the oil they need to make that particular product.

I read something yesterday that I thought might encourage you if you find yourself in any of these situations.

Yesterday, Google announced it was eliminating Buzz, the social networking service it launched many months ago. This news came as no surprise since no one really liked it, and since it's new offering, Google Plus, is doing so well.

(For anyone who does not know, the graphic is the Google Buzz logo.)

In announcing the elimination of Buzz, a Google spokesperson said:

We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day.

To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on.

It’s why we recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products.”

I thought that quote might encourage you if you find yourself struggling to discontinue products that you know you should let go of.

So next time you continue making a product that no one is buying regularly -- for any reason -- remember what Google said.

- In business, you have to focus on what people want, not what you think they want

- In business, what you don't do is more important than what you do do

- In business, it's important to offer things that change people lives

Question: Does this add a more positive perspective to the sometimes painful process of discontinuing certain products?

Tags: google

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This is so timely.  I just sat down yesterday and made a "Products to Keep & Products to Dump" list.  Surprisingly, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  There comes a time when you just get tired of the extra energy it takes to keep clutter.  That time is now for me.


Thanks for another good reminder and affirmation that I'm on track.



Hi dM!


The last 3 lines, what Google said, is very inspiring, especially, "In business, it's important to offer things that change people lives."  With that in mind, if a product does not sell, it obviously does not change anyone's lives.  In fact, it may be a deterrent for the customer to return if they keep seeing those same products over and over again on our store shelves!



Something I am working on, too, and it's hard. I have to keep reminding myself that it's harder to keep materials in stock to satisfy those three people who might buy it this year! Better to clear it all out and move on to the next thing. Thank you for this—it definitely helps to see that big businesses do this. Apple also does this amazingly well. I needed that reminder!

Emily, it only makes sense to let go of what someone might purchase only a few times a year.  I have been working on this myself, and must make sure I remain with the mindset.  As small businesses, it is that much more difficult because we have a closer bond to our customers than the big boys do.  What you said, "Apple does this amazingly well", puts the entire scope into action.  If Apple held onto a gadget, that only 1% of their customers purchased, they would be limiting their funds to move forward in so many ways.  Besides limiting their funds, they would also not be encouraging their customers to step up to the newest in technology by continuing to reserve the old for just a few.  Good point!

that is a great way to think of it.  You are right when you personally know your customers it is hard to say no.  At least I have trouble saying no

This is a great post.  Luckily for my business to keep some of the products on hand isn't bad.  It doesn't create any extra time or clutter and I can serve the few customers that like that style of mold.  

This comes in handy when creating new silicone molds for my business and going through my website to clean the spiders webs, pictures and wording.

I also like the last line of "in business, it is important to offer things that change peoples lives"

thanks dM.

It is amazingly hard to let go of something you thought would work, wish had worked and still cling onto. Good advice.


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