Shippingness vs. Awesomeness

By David Battino
March 31, 2009 | Comments: 1

Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music posted this terrific graph yesterday, showing that the more appealing the promised product, the longer it will take to ship:

The object of Peter's gear lust was the Teenage Engineering (even the company name is great!) OP-1, a compact MIDI controller and synthesizer.

What else can we learn from this graph? I've been doing some music software consulting lately, and balancing features (one measure of awesomeness) against finishing and shipping has been a fascinating challenge. I think the trick is to realize that awesomeness is not necessarily related to quantity of features. Many products become more desirable and usable as you delete features and refine the ones that are there.

A basic insight, perhaps, but a valuable one to keep in mind, whatever the project.

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1 Comment


Actually, I think we can relate your point against this graph.

The idea is to be somewhat awesome instead of infinitely awesome, but to get to the point where things are shipping. (And, in fact, you could interpret this as an argument for shipping small initial runs to support greater levels of awesomeness, then scaling larger down the road.)

Sure, it'd be more awesome to have those extra features, but you want to avoid crossing the Shipping / Real Life Threshold.

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