Is your product-led strategy creating spaghetti features?

Are you create more cool features or more new features? instead of creating more valuable deeper and end-to-end features? This will soon lead you to the unsatisfied customers and frustrated sales. Take a Product-Led journey to make your customers successful.

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Your startup embarked on Product-Led strategy with good intentions with a small set of motivated people in the room. As time goes by, the minimalist ideas and frictionless design ideas would somehow get cornered and the product starts bloating. The bloating could be because of two reasons, 1) we are improving the existing features or 2) introducing new features. While it might be the same effort to introduce or improve a feature, the former has a ripple effect on the product.

So, why is introducing NEW features a problem at all?  Let’s imagine that the rate of new feature introduction is more than that of improving the exciting features. This is typically the same with most startups. In time, the product has several NEW features that sales can talk about but the biggest concern from customers would be that the features don’t work together. or there is no depth in the features. By definition, when the rate of new feature introduction is higher, product designers and engineers are less likely to think through all the scenarios and how the other modules or use cases work together. The result is twofold with confused sales and frustrated customers. Combine this with the how companies practice agile methodologies and frequent releases, this problem soon becomes quite complex.

This is not to say, that the individual features are not useful. They are all master pieces on their own, but just does not fit together or even if they fit they are less than ideal to work with.

Let us see some of the reasons why this would happen. As silly as they sound, it is true that we give way to our behavioral comfort zone and yield to external pressures.

  • icon Introducing new features is EASY
  • icon Introducing new features makes you feel GOOD
  • icon Dealing with existing features (improving and fixing) is relatively COMPLEX
  • icon Stakeholders pressurize (sales, business development)
  • icon Customer demands 

In addition, introducing more New features has a side effect on internal and external organizations.

  • icon Educating Inside sales, Field Sales and Consulting organizations on the NEW features is costly and time taking.
  • icon With the frequent releases (weekly, monthly, quarterly, ....), the marketing team has to catch-up with all NEW and have to create all new material to create awareness.
  • icon Multiple New features without thinking through leads to dead code and/or duplicate code across modules.
  • icon Customers have a hard time catching up with all NEW features that you are releasing. In the enterprise scenario, user education and training is a pain.
  • icon Dissatisfied and non-referenceable customers from the confused and frustrating user experience. 

But how can we avoid getting into the NEW feature spiral? Answer the below questions together with Dev, Sales, Marketing.

  • icon Why do we need this NEW feature for this release?
  • icon What is the (development + sales + marketing ) cost of this NEW feature ?
  • icon Can we finish this NEW feature for this release? Can it be released partially?
  • icon What is the interaction with other modules in the system? Can this interaction be achieved in this released?
  • icon If we don’t do this NEW feature, what other current features can be improved?
  • icon Does this NEW feature guarantee revenue generation from multiple customers? Or is this a cool feature that analysts will rate us high on?

Make no mistake, we are not suggesting to avoid new features but to weigh in the benefits carefully and understand the priorities. Sometimes new features may be cool but can’t be introduced at the expense of starving the existing features.

If you are a startup, we would love to hear how your startup prioritizes the product. Send us a message at hello@product10x.com