Laura Klein really blew my mind with her post: 6 Questions to Ask Before Launching a New Feature. I don’t think I’ve ever put that much thought into adding a feature before. From now on, I’m going to make damn sure I do (or at least try!)
The only addition I can really make is that the post could have just as easily been titled, “6 Questions to Ask Before Deciding Whether to Build a Feature At All.”
Prioritizing feature development is a constant challenge for startups. “Do we build A, B, C or D?” “Can we build A and D at the same time?”
Laura’s post provides a good heuristic for helping to prioritize feature development. It wasn’t intended for that, so it’s not complete, but there’s a ton in there that I guarantee you most startups never think about. And they should.
Laura rightfully points out at the end that it sounds like an overwhelming amount of work is needed just to launch a single lousy feature. And that’s partially true, but really it comes down to putting in solid product management and product development practices as soon as possible, so that everything she’s talking about becomes second nature.