Fail or holy grail? Why some web products succeed spectacularly (or don’t)

Project description: 

Develop a research plan for understanding why some web products succeed spectacularly (eg, gmail) and others fail miserably (eg, google buzz). How could we understand why two such similar products, from the same company, had such different fates? Similarly, how can we explain the success of other products, e.g. the iPhone vs. the Google phone, etc. It’s clear that marketing is only a small piece of this kind of success, but what other factors come into play and how can we study them?

Required Skills/Disciplines: Analytic skills, all disciplines. Remark: Project will be adapted to the participants’ qualifications/disciplines.