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Less is the New More

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Giving everything to a user base is a trap. Once you do that you are stuck with an enormous product that becomes unmanageable and unusable – or at the most partially useable.

Your power users love to ask for more stuff. “My life would be so easy if you would just add this feature.” “I would totally recommend your product to everyone I know if it just did this one thing.”

Resist!

“I love your product, but it doesn’t have this one cool feature your competitor has so I’m going to use their product if you don’t add it.”

They’ll be back!

It is easy to fall into the habit of adding this little feature or that little thing… before you know it you have created a Frankenstein and the core of your user base barely recognizes the product they grew to love. The only people that are happy are your über fringe users and they are not the ones putting food on the table.

Cater to your core. These are the people who are your largest section of users. They are your repeat customers. They are your loyal followers. They are the ones who are supporting your business. Keep your product recognizable to these people.

I am not saying that you should make your product so it becomes outdated. It should role with the times. What I am saying is that if your product does 3 things and does those 3 things very well, you might want to reconsider making it do 4 things. Keep working on and enhancing the core 3 things to make your product do those 3 things better than any other product out there. Chances are your competition with likely end up giving in and making the 4th thing and the 5th and so on and eventually dilute their product and lose some of their user base.

Do what you do best, keep it simple and your users will thank you for it.

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