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Chapter 5 September 21, 2008

Filed under: Getting Real — hikaru011 @ 9:32 am
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Half, Not Half-Assed

Stick to what is really essential. Trim features down and basically you will come up with the most essential parts.

Start off with a lean, smart app and let it gain traction. Then you can start to add to the solid foundation you’ve built.

It Just Doesn’t Matter

Most of the time you spend is wasted on things that just don’t matter. If you can cut out the work and thinking that just don’t matter, you’ll achieve productivity you’ve never imagined.

Start With No

“We Don’t Want a Thousand Features”

Steve Jobs gave a small private presentation about the iTunes Music Store to some independent record label people. My favorite line of the day was when people kept raising their hand saying, “Does it do [x]?”, “Do you plan to add [y]?”. Finally Jobs said, “Wait wait — put your hands down. Listen: I know you have a thousand ideas for all the cool features iTunes could have. So do we. But we don’t want a thousand features. That would be ugly. Innovation is not about saying yes to everything. It’s about saying NO to all but the most crucial features.”

—-Derek Sivers, president and programmer, CD Baby and HostBaby
(from Say NO by default)

Hidden Costs

Expose the price of new features

Although the cost already passed the “no” stage, still you need to expose its hidden cost.

Can You Handle It?

Build something you can manage

In any business, it is important that everything you produced must be managed well.

Bottom line: Build products and offer services you can manage. It’s easy to make promises. It’s much harder to keep them. Make sure whatever it is that you’re doing is something you can actually sustain — organizationally, strategically, and financially.

Human Solutions

Make your software general so everyone can find their own solution. Give people just enough to solve their own problems their own way. People figured out how to solve issues on their own.

Do the best job you can with the root of the problem then step aside. People will find their own solutions and conventions within your general framework.

Forget Feature Requests

In forums, we often see customer’s requests like they think that a certain product can improve if they include this and that. But remember that the first response is “no”. Keep in mind that you have a vision and you must stick with it. Basically if a customer request is really essential, sooner or later it will bubble up and you can definitely know if it is really important.

Hold the Mayo

Ask people what they don’t want

Innovation Comes From Saying No

[Innovation] comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.

—Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple (from The Seed of Apple’s Innovation)


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