Spreadsheets can’t handle commercialization, especially in 2020

3 min readDec 18, 2019

I’m always amazed at the number of organizations who rely on spreadsheets to get things done, especially for those companies that manufacture products. (More on that later…)

Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it. Spreadsheets are fantastic. They truly changed the game. Excel is dope and they’ve made a lot of things easier for a lot of people over the years.

However, they only work up until a certain extent. They are not a sustainable way to do business today, especially with the tools available to us and the ever-changing and highly competitive marketplace that demands a more robust process.

SaaS tools tend to use this “anti-spreadsheet” messaging across a range of products. You’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. Heck, I’ve even written the ad copy that says it.

Ditch spreadsheets, use our tool instead!

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When it comes to commercializing a product, you need to give your spreadsheets a proper Viking funeral and start investing in a proper product success platform.

Spreadsheets past a certain SKU or product size run the risk of loss data, inaccurate product data, missed product updates, missed launch dates, miscommunication and a whole lot more that costs the company money in both time to market and profits lost.

Commercializing is going to be a huge focus for companies in 2020. Between direct-to-consumer and the latest technological advances — data, data everywhere! — the marketplace is gonna be hotter than ever.

Getting your products to market faster than the other fish in the pond is gonna take a lot more than your folders or email chains of spreadsheets.

Spreadsheets I love you but you can’t handle this one. Commercialization calls for something with a lot more fire power. It’s time for a platform dedicated to product success to step in and take us to the next level. We’re gonna have to send you back to the farm team for now.

Commercialization strategy in 2020. I’m telling you it’s gonna be a thing. Companies will start putting their decks together and asking for the budget for it (if they’re not already). 2019 saw some minor pushes in this direction, but 2020 will see an even larger push.

Teams will focus on either:
A) pivoting their existing products or
B) creating new products to answer the market gap
C) a combo of both to disrupt the market altogether

Maybe you’re already talking about it with the appropriate folks at your org. Or maybe this is brand new information.

Either way you need to get ahead of these woes before your competition does.




I’m a seasoned designer and digital marketer who loves to write. Blog posts created for work and clients live here as well.