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Other Software > Developer's Corner

Features are a one way street: Short but Sweet Blog Post


Here's the post from 37 signals blog in its entirety.  Just something to keep in mind as a coder -- it rings true to me, but in a fun way.  If you should ever develop a large enough user base where such issues emerge, count yourself lucky to have such passionate users..

Here’s another reason to double, triple, quadruple-check yourself when you want to add a new feature. A while back Netflix added a “Profiles” feature to their service. A couple weeks ago, they decided to pull the feature because it was too confusing and it wasn’t adding value. But it was too late. People were pissed. The blog post received 1286 comments. In the face of this reaction, Netflix had to turn 180 and keep the feature. Whether Netflix Profiles are good or bad, clear or confusing, they’re here to stay.

The lesson: Once your user base has grown beyond a certain point, you cannot take features away from them. They will freak out. Whether the feature is good or bad, once you launch it you’ve married it. This changes the economics of feature additions. If you can’t destroy what you build, each addition holds the threat of clutter. Empty pixels and free space where a new feature could be added are the most valuable real estate on your app. Don’t be quick to sell it, because you can never get it back.

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Ah this is very nice indeed! I especially like the analogy to real estate.

this is so true in mouser's case especially with the popularity of Farr. ;)

this is so true in mouser's case especially with the popularity of Farr. ;)
-lanux128 (July 11, 2008, 07:24 AM)
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Yep, and it's a lesson for the future for us young programmers/software engineers!
I always think deep before adding any new feature to gridmove. And i already think i've added too many in the past :P

Of course in Mouse Man's case he can always just add another..TAB! Might have to increase the size of FARRs options window soon, or he'll run out of room for those too :P



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