There is a common myth about product development: the more features we put into a product, the more customers will like it. I am putting a small analogy to compare how adding features could reduce product acceptability at times.
Look at a product like a calculator. Most calculators are used for pretty basic functions: adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying. But when calculators get like this:
Image Added by NextBigWhat Team
These calculators are complex to use and majority of the calculator features are barely used. No doubt, the features it offers is very useful but only for a minority of users. Majority of users will still stick to and use the basic calculator with features such as addition, subtraction & multiplication.
Software Product Development follows a similar trend. Apps that are simple to use and offer core features well are more successful.
Lets talk numbers now!
Instagram: Bought for $1 billion, over 100 million users
WhatsApp: Bought for $19 billion, over 1 billion users
Dropbox: Worth $4 billion, over 100 million users
Twitter: Worth $8 billion, over 500 million users
What do these successful products have in common?
Yes, all of them are amazingly successful. Apart from this, they implement a core feature set very well. Example, Instagram for photo-sharing, WhatsApp for reliable texting, Dropbox for cloud storage, Twitter for 160-character sharing.
Instagram is one of my favourite apps. What it does really well is that it makes photo-sharing incredibly simple! It takes barely 5 seconds to upload a photo and share it to my friends.
- Easy-access button to share photos
- Incredible Photo effects at no complexity
- Upload Photos almost instantly
What if Instagram had a Group feature like Facebook? Would it make Instagram more successful? Maybe not!
The Bottomline - Keep Your Focus on the Experience
Do not confuse users by adding features!
Why does WhatsApp has better adoption than any other app that offers far more features — Video calling, Group calling?
It is very easy to use. It offers amazing texting experience and is very reliable. Even a few server downtimes could have killed it!
If anything detracts from the product’s core experience, stop making changes and release your product. You’ll get more insight by doing less and seeing how people engage with the product as it is, what behaviour they exhibit, and reviewing this against your assumptions. Product Market Fit is very important!
What I have stated above are my personal thoughts and I am happy to know insights from product experts. Do leave your thoughts in the comments.