There’s always room for one more feature. Feature creep is the ongoing addition of new features, over-complicating the original idea. It often comes from committees making compromises.
At Square, Jack Dorsey’s payment company, they call their product managers “Product Editors”. Deciding what not to put into a product is more important than deciding what to put in.
I stumbled across Andrew Chen’s article on Square and the product editorial model. He shared these insights:
“Bad ideas are often good ideas that don’t fit. In the context of literature, books, and newspapers, it’s the job of the editor to pick the good stuff and weave it into a coherent story. You remove the bad stuff, but ‘bad’ can mean it’s a good idea but just doesn’t fit into the story…
“You don’t just jam lots of characters and plot points in a story just because. Even if they are good characters, it can bloat the story. Same with features- sometimes you have many, many good ideas for your product, but if you come to do all of them, you ultimately make it a confusing mess. Instead, you have to “edit” down the feature list until you have a clean, tight experience.”
Here’s a video of Jack Dorsey talking about the concept of editing as it relates to his job as CEO of Square:
The editorial model applies to any type of product management, not just consumer internet. Great marketing requires great editing.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away one signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. I’ll pick one comment. Thanks!)