The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
308: Feature Creep
May 11, 2018
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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about the pros and cons of feature creep and why too much of a good thing can be bad. They investigate why feature creep happens, what to do when you realize it is happening and how to avoid it happening in the future. Feature creep can be a major risk for your startup and can lead to increased complexity, effort, budget and time input.

Feature creep, feature fatigue and featuritis, all describe what happens when adding excessive features to your product or service. Adding extra features can positively or negatively impact your startup. The key is to find the right balance and ensure that you are serving your customer in the best way possible, without getting in the way of key functionality.

Feature creep if left uncontrolled has the power to overwhelm your startup and place you in hot water. This can happen especially when adding extra features just to try and improve sales, which may result in a bloated mix of features. Why utilize 10 features when 3 will work optimally? Why bake a cake with 12 people when it is advisable to bake with just 1 or 2 people. Too many cooks in the kitchen will spoil the cake. Too many features involved in a project or service can actually ruin it.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Startup Chat to see how feature creep may affect your business and how to make informed decisions when adding new features. Also learn the key to being clear, about who your audience is and how you will serve them.

As well as Steli and Hiten’s top tips to creating the best product or service while protecting yourself from the bloat of feature creep.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:30 The issue of feature creep.

01:24 How sales can influence feature creep.

02:02 Signs of an undisciplined sales team.

02:48 How market buzzwords can influence feature creep.

04:40 The reasons why you run into feature creep.

05:11 Focus on making your features amazing.

05:26 Hubspot's ‘All in One Tool’ case study.

06:22 How to know your strengths.

07:43 When feature creep is good.

08:24 When feature creep is bad.

3 Key Points:

One of the main reasons for feature creep is pressure.
Where people mess up is when people add features without a strategy around it.
Feature creep isn’t bad if it is what your market needs.

[0:00:00]

Steli Efti: Hey everybody this is Steli Efti.

 

[0:00:03]

Hiten Shah: And this Hiten Shah.

 

[0:00:05]

Steli Efti: And in today's episode of The Startup Chat, we're gonna talk about feature creep.

 

[0:00:12]

Hiten Shah: Feature creep. Feature creep is amazing. It's amazing because it's something, if you've every worked on product development for more than a year, maybe even six months, you start seeing this and you see this issue. The issue is, basically, the idea, high-level, that you just keep building more features into your product. And how that has this opinion, by a lot of people, that it's a bad thing. I'm not here to say it's bad or it's good. I think the reason we're talking about this is because it's super easy to just build new features and I'd love to hear from you, Steli , on sales. One of the pressures that I've gotten historically is shit ... For this quarter, for sales to make sales, close deals, they need a new, shiny object to sell to customers. So what say you?

 

[0:01:09]

Steli Efti: Yeah, you're absolutely right. I think that most sales teams, if you don't enforce a level of discipline, they will try to find the easiest path to the money. What are two very easy ways to the money? One is promising customers whatever they want. The customer wants feature X Y Z just saying, "Yes, we're gonna build it. Yes, we're gonna have it soon." That's an easy way to get the customer's money.

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