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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

An idea for expanding on your products

What if we offered to change the product to accommodate the user's wishes like:
'Request a special feature' or 'Custom built' or 'Need a feature? contact us and we'll discuss it'

Hm? Not bad so early in the morning I say :)

You can charge some more for such a treat or even if not charge you will still have a nice new feature built into your software based on the idea of somebody who thought it worthy of contacting you
alexandar Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Sound like a great idea if you want to turn the development of your product over to the end users. However, it's likely to create a bloated product with no focus that less people will actually want to buy.

More features doesn't necessarily mean more sales. More features can easily have an adverse effect on how easy the software is to use.
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
> More features doesn't necessarily mean more sales.

Absolutely agree! More features may transform an app to monster, which is difficult to study, difficult to use, difficult to maintain and difficult to position on the market. 'All-in-one' can be good solution in *some* cases. In *most* cases it's a ready reciepe of crash.

On the other hand, we must to hear our customers. And if they ask about some feature and 1) this feature is *really* useful and 2) this feature is not conflicts with product's positioning - in this case we should add it. Or, if we decide to reject it, we must to explain the reason of it.
Denis Shevchenko Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
There is no harm in asking your customers on a regular basis. You may see patterns. Remember that most people LOVE to give their opinion.
Bring back anon Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
It's a good idea. Who better to know what your product needs than the people who use it day after day?
Also you don't have to go along with their suggestions if you don't agree with them.
The trick would be to steer them towards what you want to do and get them to pay for that instead!
Drummer Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
If you read the posts on this site from back when Joel actually posted regularly, you'll find where he talks about the overwhelming and positive correlation between adding features and more sales.

Then again, 37Signals prides itself on not adding features willy-nilly.

They both seem successful enough, so, who knows...
GregT Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Hi GregT,

From what I can recall I believe you're correct regarding Joel's comments on the correlation he found between features and sales. The distinction here I believe however, is that Joel did not let customer requests drive the feature selection process as Alexandar is suggesting.

Regards -
Marcus from London Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
GregT and Marcus, if either of you can somehow find one of those old posts by Joel on that, I would like to see it.  (I tried searching but couldn't find it).
Racky Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Well there's this . .


and this . .


. . . which cover feature selection although I couldn't find the quotes I was thinking of (admittedly I did skim the articles)
Marcus from London Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
@Marcus from London, agreed. Anyway, here is the post I was referring to.


"The flow to our bottom line from new versions with new features is absolutely undeniable. It's like gravity. When we tried Google ads, when we implemented various affiliate schemes, or when an article about FogBugz appears in the press, we could barely see the effect on the bottom line. When a new version comes out with new features, we see a sudden, undeniable, substantial, and permanent increase in revenue."

It's probably worth remembering that Joel is coming at this from the shrink-wrap perspective, not mammoth enterprise-ware.
GregT Send private email
Friday, April 19, 2013
Also, he's selling to developers. This is quite a different market than the one most of us are targeting
handzhiev Send private email
Monday, April 22, 2013
It is always a great idea to ask what the users want to see in the product. The more features you include as per the choice of the user, the more chances of the product being successful. I would say timely survey and review to get more insight about the product wont hurt
Boney Send private email
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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