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Three Ways to Keep It Simple When You Have the Urge to Add One More Feature

We’ve worked with enough startups to be able to discern a pattern of perilous thinking that is our job, as consultants, to thwart.

Many entrepreneurs – and we’re talking specifically about the entrepreneurs launching products that merge hardware and software – share a typical mindset. Everything from the ground up, they say. Just one more feature! And, no, we can’t change course now.

This tendency to want to build everything from scratch and to innovate around every single aspect of a product stems from passion for a product and its mission. While passion is indispensable, it needs to be tempered with rational thinking. The ability to adjust focus and zone in on what’s critical will reduce risk and maximize chances of success. Here are three pieces of advice we give startups who need a reminder to keep it simple:

1. Be rational, and repurpose.

Entrepreneurs often want to make everything themselves. We remind people there are a lot of good products out there. It is important to know when not to reinvent the wheel. In many situations, it is okay to repurpose to save both time and money, which are both limited resources in the product development world. Finding good partners – vendors, sources – is almost always a better move for a startup than building everything yourself…

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