5 pennies or 1 dime

Ask any 5 year old:  Which is better?  5 pennies or 1 dime.

penniesdime

Any 5 year old will tell you the 5 pennies are better.  There are MORE of them, of course.  They don’t care that the dime is more expensive.

OK, now consider your software product.  Which is better?  5 small features or 1 giant one?  (assume the same proportions as the pennies/dime)

Surprisingly (or not), most companies think too logically.  They think the 1 giant feature is better than the 5 small ones.  They are wrong.  People will always enjoy a long series of little improvements over one big honking feature.

According to the 80/20 principle, 80% of all of the users time is spent on 20% of the functionality.  Giving them another big thing to use misses the point; that is giving them more stuff in the 80% unused bucket.  Rather, you should improve the 20% that they use all the time.  They will love you for it.

I know that sometimes you need to build something big.  Just balance that out with attention to the details.  A bunch of minor improvements actually gets more love than one big improvement.

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