Okay, I get it, there are SO many things that your new product will do, and you think your users want it all. They want the chat function from Facebook, the wayfinding application of Foursquare, the reviews of Yelp, and the ability to facetime with a monkey in the Chilean jungle. Your users are always going to want additional features, and there will always be requests, but do these new features belong in your product? Is your product going to become watered down because it is bloated? YES.
A great product is SIMPLE—especially an MVP.
It does one thing extremely well—and it is known for that one thing. This is especially true for an initial release because your users don’t know the product, and you don’t want them confused. If your MVP includes so many features that the app takes five analogies to understand, this is a red flag and the product may contain too much for the first release.
“But Daniel, it’s the Foursquare of events with an Uber-like on-demand system and a Salesforce CRM backend.”
Great, it’s also bloated and may be three products. This concept has been preached everywhere—simplify, simplify, simplify. Doing too much in an initial release will ruin feedback loops, confuse your users, and fog the business strategy. If your product has too many features, your product team will have a hard time optimizing for any individual experience or business metric.
Bloated products create fragmented user groups that leads to fractured feedback loops.
Pinpointing the why behind a bloated product’s review will be difficult. Did they like the chat function, the facetime with the monkey, or the reviews? Was the user experience confusing? Why didn’t they convert at the point of sale? Why did they bounce? Which part of the application did they like or hate? Bloated products create foggy answers to these questions. Simple products are straightforward.
The idea is not to put everything in the first release and see what sticks. It will confuse your users and is the Mobile Product Building Mistake #3.
This is one part of a series called 9 Mobile Product Building Mistakes. Stay tuned for next time’s Mobile Product Building Mistake #4: Mistaking “agile” for truncated waterfall.