Product Features

Minimal Viable Product

My boxer is the best boxer in the world! He can beat anyone in the ring! All he needs is a club. And maybe a gun. And the opponent needs his hands tied behind his back. With just those features, my boxer can beat anyone!

  • The first version of a product (V1) needs to be an MVP (Minimally Viable Product)
  • A 100-feature MVP that is useless as long as it only has 99% of those features is a bad product
  • A good system is one that is useful when it it small and can seamlessly grow larger
  • Often a visionary will have a product idea that goes something like this:
  • A good product idea is one that is useful with relatively few features
  • A premature focus on supporting features is often a sign of a bad foundation
  • Adding a non-essential feature to a release will not make that feature arrive sooner, it will delay the essential features
  • Sometimes premature non-essential features are motivated by a reliance on spectacular product unveilings
    • First impressions are overrated
    • Most corporations had humble beginnings and slow starts
    • Spectacular unveilings work better when an established business with an established product line is releasing a new product


  • Each tool should do one thing and do it well - the Unix Philosophy

  • There are two ditches on either side of the road: trying to do too little and trying to do too much

    • Software products rarely fall into the ditch of trying to do too little
  • As a company grows larger, it can afford to diversify more, but that diversification needs to be split into multiple products created by multiple teams

    • If the domains continue to become more diverse, the corporation will need to further split into multiple semi-independent child-companies with their own teams and product lines
  • Avoid monolithic products

  • Instead of trying to solve multiple customer problems, it is usually more efficient to create a product that solves one customer problem that can be used with other products which solve related customer problems

    • This is not the same thing as embedding third-party software, which can be useful but is not as useful
  • Instead of building a sandwich, build a slice of ham

    • Then when a customer is building their own sandwich, they will say to themselves, "Now I need a slice of ham", and you will be ready to provide that slice of ham

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