When building a new product there are always a million features that you’ll want to include. One of the hardest but most important jobs is choosing which to launch with and which to shelve for a later date. A bloated product will only confuse your offering and will hold back how quickly you can change and adapt based on feedback from your users.
Cutting features is an essential task for launching with a truly lean MVP.
Only build what’s needed
If you’re like any of the other entrepreneurs we’ve met then your list of features is longer than your arm. We’ve read countless briefs with all sorts of wild and wonderful things included. All of them “essential”, of course.
Multiple payment processing platforms, integrations with countless social networks, internal messaging systems, intelligent matching systems, all sorts of complex algorithms, the list is endless. While many of them might be nice to have they are by no means essential and your initial offering needs to be cut back to include only what is needed right now.
Make features fight
One of the biggest things we do when working with clients is pushing back and cutting as much extra weight as we can. We’ll start by assuming that the product has no features at all and make every single one fight for inclusion. If there’s no justifiable reason for its inclusion then it gets chopped.
What gets included doesn’t come from guesswork. Your users will tell you what they need (not want). Well-conducted research and prototyping will reveal more about your users than you could ever have predicted.
Listen to your users’ real world problems and build a product with a feature set that solves these and these only.
Simplify as much as possible
Lots of the features in the original list are probably there just because other sites have them. While you may well end up implementing these a few months or even years down the line, right now you need to concentrate on a simplified offering. Have your “feature roadmap” planned but launch lean and flexible then adapt to stay ahead of the competition.
Embrace the feature chop! It may be hard at first but it soon becomes your best friend.
We can help you decide what your MVP should look like. Talk to us to start putting together your plan of action and bringing your product to life!