Two sides to every feature

05Jan10

Whenever you add a feature or attribute to a product, there’s a good chance that the new addition creates an unintended consequence or cost. For example:

– Smaller gadgets are easier to carry in your pocket, but also easier to lose.
– Latex-based paint is water-soluble for quick clean up, but will show ugly streaks if you get water on the walls.
– Flat-packed furniture (think Ikea) is cheap to ship, but a lot more time-consuming to put together.

Arguably, the benefits of these features outweigh the costs. But that won’t be true of every possible feature. So the next time you’re thinking about adding a new feature to one of your own products, make sure you consider the hidden costs of that feature as well.



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