It is not uncommon to see new products launch with a lot of features. Too many features, perhaps.
The rationale is fully understandable; there is an urge to get a ‘finished’ product out, and you quickly form your own opinions about what that means in terms of feature set.
The underlying rationale behind it is more important though:
When you launch with a lot of features, essentially what you’re hoping is that there will be something in there that will get customers to love and adapt your product and not just turn the other cheek – or not notice it at all.
I think it’s fair to say it’s ‘fear of failure’. Pure and simple.
And I also think it is fair to recognize it as such. Because when you’re developing new products and trying to do something that perhaps no-one else has done before you, your biggest fear is that nobody is going to like it.
Or worse: Even care.
In fact I will argue that it’s the key reason why so many still fail to test their ideas and assumptions before they go and build their first product; the basic fear of getting the idea rejected by the market, before it all even begins.
But then again, I don’t think there is a way around it. I think the only way forward is to ‘bet on less’ – even if it’s super tough – and do whatever you can to nail the things you do rather than risk being ‘all over the place’.
Thankfully, we do have tools such as the ability to identify our assumptions, form our hypothesis and run smaller scale, appropriate experiments towards them to get more insight and data on whether we’re on track to something.
So use them.