Over the past five years I have been involved in at least five software projects. Only one of them has launched. Depressing! I think one of the main reasons for these projects failing is feature creep.

Feature creep is when you keep adding cool ideas and extra functionality to something, hoping to make it better. It is a really easy habit to form because it is a lot of fun to think of new ideas (and doesn’t take long), and also it is boring to really polish the original idea. The original idea often becomes stale.

Something I have done while developing Daypage is avoid brainstorming altogether. I simply have not done it. What I have done instead is USE the software every day and make notes and changes focused on usability instead of features. Sometimes functionality “wishes” do come up while I am using my software, and I do write those down, but I have been very hesitant to implement any of the big ones that are outside of the original scope. This has helped me work toward a minimal product that is a delight to use.

I think often of these words from Basecamp’s founder,“Adopting a feature is like adopting a child.” With too many children you will never launch and even if you do you will probably be too scattered to succeed.

Keeping software minimal is an art on itself, and takes patience and tons of dedication. I have been really happy with the results of my usage over brainstorming features method far, and am becoming more and more happy with direction that Daypage is going.