Why the Tech Crash May Have Been a Good Thing

As we continue to slide into a dire economic correction, a silver lining is starting to emerge around the dot-com crash. By pushing a lot of froth out of the system several years ago, it has spared us from a true “Perfect Storm” of an economic crisis in 2008.

F|R: How to Avoid Feature Creep with Your Software Apps

In my favorite movie, Wonder Boys, Prof. Grady Tripp is a writer who hasn’t had a best seller in years. His work in progress is a 1,500 page behemoth. Upon sneaking a peek at the magnum opus, one of Tripp’s most devoted students takes it upon herself to point out to the professor that some of his scenes suffer from overkill — being brought to life in such excruciating detail that they actually diminish the experience for the reader. The student accuses the professor of literary indecision.

We have a name for this in the software business, too. It’s called feature creep.

When your well-intentioned haiku of a software app turns into the Encyclopedia Britannica, you’ve lost your core focus, probably because you’ve given in to the temptation to answer this question in the affirmative, far too many times: “Wouldn’t it be great if our product did this?” Of course you want your product to be as good as it possibly can be, but the most successful applications (or literary masterpieces) actually require that you answer “No” more often than “Yes.” Read More about F|R: How to Avoid Feature Creep with Your Software Apps

Mint.com: Why Design Matters, Too

mint_white.jpgEditor’s Note: This morning I read of Mint.com’s new $12.1 million funding round, lead by Benchmark Capital. Mint hawks online money management software. TechCrunch highlighted Mint’s impressive growth stats — 160,000 users in just 6 months of life as a startup; 10,000 new users each week, etc. I was reminded of a piece that one of Mint’s own employees, Jason Putorti, wrote for us back in November, on the topic of design and why it is as important for product adoption as your code. Mint is obviously doing a lot of things right, so I’m republishing Jason’s piece today — study this company!

Let’s face it, startup founders have their hands full with a multitude of issues, large and small. Most attention is placed on the nuances of business models, viral marketing, user acquisition, etc. But an often overlooked success factor in building a web business — or any business — is design. Good design can often tip the scales in your favor; make your company very hard to ignore. In this post, I’ll explain a few important reasons why design matters so much.
Read More about Mint.com: Why Design Matters, Too