Institute of Product Leadership
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How to build the right features that your customers will love?

Remember your product is not a Swiss Army Knife, unless you are building one. While deciding on which and how many features to include, keep in mind the core function that your product was built for in the first place. Avoid the pitfall of including features that are merely cool to have.

Features aren’t for free!

Feature ideas can come from developers, customers, support, stakeholders, executives, sales and the like. However, if you listen to everyone, you will end up building a feature heavy product. Filter the feature ideas for their relevance to your core product vision. Also, avoid the trap of overweighing the ideas of the vocal minority.

Where do feature ideas come from?

Many product managers underestimate the true cost of adding a new feature to the product. Every additional feature comes with the cost of maintaining, bug fixing, updating and support. Additionally you must also consider the cost of added complexity, UI learning, and the risk of disrupting the product’s key functions. And for products already faced with technical debt, it may be best to avoid including fancy or new features.

Customer is the King, but he may not always be right

What the customer wants may not always be what he actually needs. Focus on the need and not the want. Besides, loading your product with features may result in a feature fatigue.
The key to creating a set of WOW features is to take great care throughout the feature’s lifecycle. Before you include a feature in your product do consider the cost, relevance and the alignment of the feature with your product vision.


Mccloskey, H. (2015). Product features: Retrieved from The good, the bad & the ugly.


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