20 Sep

Planning Features

After releasing the first version of an application the next thing to deal with is feature requests. Your customers may love what you created, but they will always want at least one thing slightly different. You should decide your approach to new features before you receive the first request.

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone”

– Bill Cosby

First know that your customers won’t understand your vision, and just because they purchased your product, doesn’t mean you need to accommodate their requests (in almost all cases). If a feature idea doesn’t match with your vision for the product, feel free to say “No.” Be patient, listen, truly consider it, but don’t feel obligated to build it.

If you aren’t interested, just say so. You should never string a customer along by saying “Great idea! We’ll build that in a few months.” If you don’t have a solid timeline for the feature being built, don’t tell the customer you are going to deliver it.

With OneVoice my vision was for usable software that did less than the competition. So I have to be extra careful since it is very likely a new feature will go against my narrow vision. Though since I am not an expert in the niche my software serves, I must listen carefully to know if an idea is useful. Otherwise I risk not serving my customers needs.

Find the balance for your software and don’t try to be all things to all people.

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