The real cost of adding features

Great piece by our HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah on the cost of adding features. He hits the nail on the head on many of the reasons why features are added…they’re seen as table stakes, a competitor is adding them, or there is a feeling that they’ll add bottom-line revenue. In truth it’s hard to know these things at all, and once a feature is added it’s hard to take away. So add carefully!

And the thesis, Dharmesh’s thoughts on complexity:

“Startups are a constant battle against ever-increasing complexity. When you move to having multiple price options for your product, your complexity goes up. When you add an important feature/app, your complexity goes up. It’s one more thing to track adoption of. It’s one more thing you have to promote to your customers (so they know it’s there). It’s one more decision to make (should we include this feature in the free product, or use it to drive upgrades?). It’s one more hungry mouth to feed when you’re trying to allocate limited product/engineering resources. It’s one more row in your pricing/feature matrix. Every one of those things cost money. They just may not show up on your P&L on day one. They’re subtle and somewhat hidden, but they’re very, very real.”

Published: February 19th, 2013