Do you really need that feature?

Do you really need that feature? Yes? Oh, because your competitor has it?
Ok, I get it. I have some questions for you to answer.

  • How many users of your competitor’s product are using that feature?
  • How often?
  • Do they like it?
  • How many bought the product because of that feature?
  • How many would not miss that feature?
  • How much money is your competitor making on that feature?
  • How many users of your compititor would switch to your product because of that feature?
  • What would happen if you did build that feature?

Think twice before you jump and demand yet another feature. Copying features can be a waste of money and hardly ever makes your product stand out in the market.

Just because your competitor has it, does not mean it’s a good idea have it too. You’ll enter price competition and your competitor has a head start. You may never earn back your investment.

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job

In the book “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job”  Patrick Lencioni outlines that many working people are in a miserable job. In this post I want to share the basic idea behind his book.

The cost of people not liking their job is staggering. Productivity collapses greatly when employees are unfulfilled. It does not end at work. There is also a great social cost. Even emotionally mature employees share their work misery, frustration, cynicism, weariness into the lives of others. It becomes impossible to appreciate the joy of life. The emotional and psychological damage can be profound and irreversible.

The following three factors will make any job miserable. They seem obvious and maybe even easy to resolve. However, they remain unaddressed in most organizations.

  1. Anonymity – People need to experience that they are known for their work. We need to feel understood and appreciated for our qualities by someone in an authority position. When we don’t feel heard or think we are invisible, generic or anonymous within the company we will not love our job.
  2. Irrelevance – We need to know that our work matters to someone. When we cannot make a connection between what we do and someone else’s satisfaction we simply won’t find lasting fulfillment in our job.Someone needs to appreciate it and we need to know about it.
  3. Immeasurement – It is important that we can gauge our personal progress and contribution. We cannot be fulfilled when our succes depends on the opinions or whims of another person. Our motivation heavily depends on our ability to self assess success or failure. When we perceive that we cannot control our own fate our motivation quickly deteriorates.

Patrick tells us that we will feel miserable with even one of these factors present. What I read is that we our job needs to be meaningful to us and that we need a way to know how we are doing. How about you? Are you in a miserable job? How can we take ownership of these three factors?