Too Many Features

January 30th, 2007 | Categories: launch, marketing, social media, trends

Way too often do I see a company trying to do too many things for too many people. A company will launch the ultimate portal experience with e-mail functionality, search, weather, horoscopes, VOIP, calendar, and an AJAX interface.

What I’m trying to say is that many companies confuse their offering by trying to do too many things. By focusing on 1-3 features in particular and creating a spectacular experience, your potential for success is much greater. This is what YouTube did… and did very well might I add.

How often do you read a features set that is over a page long and you’re left wondering… “WTF does this thing actually do for me?” It’s a daunting reality. Now, isn’t it refreshing when you browse a feature set that is minimal (only in terms of size). You can paint a clear picture in your head as to what the system/site/software can accomplish for you.

Think of it like ordering food in a restaurant. Sure, a huge menu is good as there are a lot of choices. But in many cases, the size and breadth clouds your minds and thought-process. A smaller menu is easier to choose from as the information at hand easier to quantify.

Numerous small companies can attribute their success to a given feature of a larger unsuccessful company.

As the old saying goes, “A jack of all trades, master of none.” Companies need to conceptualize a clear vision and stay true that original mindset. It may not sound logical but by focusing on a smaller number of features, a start-up has a greater likelihood of succeeding (in many cases).

Craigslist and Wikipedia are great examples of simple start-ups that set out to do one thing well. Never along the way did they stray from that original vision and look where they stand today - among the greats.

I can’t wait to see more examples of this mentality and thought-process moving forward. These are the apps and designs of the new web. They are the success stories and sites I will use. This is web 2.0.


  1. Eric Berlin Says:

    You’re right on here, Aiden. Particularly at launch, some products feel like they have to overwhelm potential users with features when in reality the opposite is true (*if* those features meet user needs and are simple and elegantly designed!).

  2. Aran Says:

    Nice read!

    Im coming back to this blog to catch up on whats going on… thats a pretty good sign Id say as I only usually go to or popurls to get my news 😉

    Keep it up… Im still working way to much to take a break right now, will email ya in a bit.

    Keep it up mate, Im enjoying reading your blog.

  3. Aran Says:

    Lol, see what I mean, I just realised its bloody 2am and I havent even started finishing up my day…. Oh well :S

  4. Mark Evans Says:

    Great insight. I think Technorati is a good example of company trying to be too many things to too many people.


  5. Mark Evans - What’s Technorati? Says:

    […] Technorati’s multi-faceted strategic direction struck a chord after reading a recent post by Mapping the Web that talked about companies trying to be “too many thing for too many people” by offering lots of features rather than one to three really good features. […]

  6. Bir kullanıcının karmaşık bir macerası | - Yıldızları takip et Says:

    […] Böyle bir trendin içinde iken, Mondus’un nehirde ters kürek çekmesi bence mantıklı bir adım olmamış. Evet, Mondus’a portal diyemeyiz ama içine sindirmeye çalıştığı iÅŸlevlerin çokluÄŸu ile olumsuz bir yoÄŸunluk sergiliyor (Bkz: Too Many Features). Tavsiye 5: Bu sayılan iÅŸlevlerin her biri için, birbiri ile direk bağıntılı (network) ayrı bir site yapısı kurulmalı. Aynen Pilli örneÄŸinde olduÄŸu gibi. […]

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