Mandy and I went to the mall this weekend to get her some new maternity clothes. While she browsed the Motherhood store, I took up a strategic perch outside so as not to bump bellies with a bunch of pregnant women. Next store was a sunglasses shop, so I figure why not burn a few minutes?
By the time Mandy got back to me (less than 10 minutes), I had convinced myself that I needed a pair of white sunglasses. Why? I have no idea. Mandy took one look at me and said “You look like an idiot. But if you like them that much…” But I didn’t like them – I was just obsessed with the idea of white sunglasses. The rest of the day, everywhere I went I saw people wearing them, kind of like when you buy a new car and you see everyone on the road who has the same model.
Features for features sake are the white sunglasses of Product Management. How many times have you written a requirement for a feature that you knew wasn’t needed? Everyone has. There are lots of reasons why PM’s do it:
- Obsessed with a feature (white sunglasses)
- If the competition has it, so shall I
- Executive loves this feature, too political to take out
- Boss loves this feature, is it worth the fight?
None of those excuse the fact that empty features are like white sunglasses – just like me, they make you look like an idiot. Take a look at the list of features and functions going into your next release. Are 100% of them things that you need in order to make a difference to your company and to your customers? How many of them are things you want to have?