Monday, July 18, 2005

Product development insight - lets remember what Einstein said

Here is a great quote that I stumbled upon again over the weekend. It is a famous quote by Einstein and reads:

"If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it."

I think I am going to post this quote on my monitor because it is so relevant to what we are currently working on. Ever since launching BlinkList, the suggestions to improve the tagging, bookmarking, RSS syndication, etc. on our sites keep pouring in. I guess one could say the floodgates have been opened.

First of all, that is fantastic! We keep very good track of all the suggestions that we get from our community. However, at the same time we are big fans and believers of:

1) KISS (keep it simple stupid) and
2) Less is more

So, initially I started to struggle and wonder how to find the right trade offs. How do we listen and follow the community while at the same time staying true to our operating principles?

I think Einstein had the answer all along. For the most part, the community members have all identified some features and improvements to help them solve a problem! Obviously, even if there is only one problem that needs solving, if you ask 100 people, you can get dozens of suggestions on features, tweaks, etc.

Implementing all or even just many of these features would be crazy. We would come to a grinding halt, our developers would be overwhelmed, the product would become incredibly complex overtime, and that might just be the end of it.

Instead, lets take a step back, and identify the core problems and customer pains points that we are trying to solve. Just that simple approach, to take a step back can be so valuable and it really hit me when I stumbled upon Einstein's quote.

I am going to have to reserve a special place for that and go back to it often because it is so valuable. One can easily loose the forrest for the trees and his insights will hopefully help us along the way.


Blink It


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY!
» » »

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