Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ruining the Final Product

I recently heard this phrase at the end of a meeting: "That went really well! I'm so happy that we were able to incorporate everybody's ideas."

Was the meeting a success?

If placating everybody who was in the meeting was our goal, congratulations to us. We succeeded. If we were trying to create something amazing, we failed. Compromise is an enemy of excellence.

Somebody argued for a push-button keyboard on the iPhone. That argument was rejected outright - the touchscreen keyboard is not a compromise, it is a redefinition. A better product was the result.

Somebody argued that 140 characters is too little text to say anything meaningful. Twitter rejected that argument completely. One of the worlds 20 most visited sites was the result.

The best products and ideas are not great because of what they included. They are great because of what they left out.

Sometimes it's best to put feelings aside and just say no.