Building Great Software: Less is More Ross | November 23rd, 2010

My experience with crowdSPRING over the past several years has proven to me that with few exceptions, startups and established companies should strive to keep their software features simple. Simple features allow you to release software more often and to iterate and leverage feedback from users.

Time and time again, we’ve made the mistake of over-thinking a feature only to learn that we didn’t do a good job planning and took far too long to release that feature. This is a common problem for young startups. In fact, many startups fail to launch a product because they get bogged down with software development and either run out of money, or are left behind by their competitors.

Over the past year, we’ve done a better job – simplifying our scope and iterating more often. It’s clear to me that what we’re doing now – simple, focused features followed by iteration – is the best way for startups to operate.

In the video, I discuss five reasons why I believe companies should strive to simplify software features. Briefly, those reasons are:

1. it is much easier to focus on simple releases
2. it is much easier to launch a simple product
3. real feedback from users is critical to software development
4. shorter software development cycles are more fun and create more energy
5. better overall product

Please watch the video for a more detailed discussion of the five reasons – and let me know what you think.

Do you agree that startups should simplify features and iterate more often?

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