I have a marketplace that was soft launched a few months ago. The first version is to release "sell products" feature and the second version is to release "sell services" feature. The "sell products" feature wasn't done right b.c. it was a result of a pivot and we are currently at a funny angle. I'm currently focusing my energy on customer development of "sell service", and it's not ready for development yet. I feel like the "sell service" feature has a bigger market, market that I'm more familiar with and it's more exciting. Now my questions are: - Should I put the "Sell Products" feature to the side for now? If so, do I need to keep this features live? Would it demoralize my team mentality if I hid the current features, and start from a landing page of "Sell Service"? - Otherwise, should my team fix the "Sell products" feature (It's ready for development) while I'm doing the customer development of "Sell Services" feature? However, my resources are very very limited. Is there any rule of thumb I can follow? - How do I do a proper launch and the prep work so I can launch "sell services" feature better this time?
My vote is to kill it. Focus your team on what's important for your business. Just because it's done is not a reason to keep it.
I always think. If the feature is not helping the product achieve its primary goal, it most likely getting in the way of it.
It's really hard but keep your product focused and trim fat when possible. You and your Team should be ready for it. Clear goals help this process.
There's a few questions in your question.
1) Should you remove a feature if you know the other one is the right direction (and it'll be a departure from what you're offering right now)?
If it's hurting the customer experience, and doesn't work - then yes, take it out. If you don't think it will live on in the future, it's best to remove it and avoid confusing or frustrating new customers.
2) How do you avoid creating/shipping a half ass feature?
Well the good news is that you're probably the issue. The best way to nail a feature to ensure it's awesome is to spend the time up front iterating around different ways to solve it, usually in wireframes or mockups, and then prototyping using some app like Balsamiq (click-eable prototypes) or https://www.flinto.com/.
Ensure you get real copy, and user persona's with real data to play with and test the flows and all aspects of the user experience. If you spend the time up front developing these, then the engineers will work better and can't mix up what you're asking them to build.
So yeah, learn as much as you can about product management & marketing, and that should fix the issues.
P.S. These folks are geniuses when it comes to this
Hope that helps.
Sounds like you are getting bogged down in Slop which in this case stands for "Silly Loss Of Productivity" and leads to loss of profit.
I say, do the math. Where are you likely to make your money? Keep your eye on the ball that has $ signs on it. Make sure you are offering either products or services that lead to maximum profits. Make this or these your back-end products and services. Then add in products and services which are front end and even loss leaders. If you find yourself between two choices and you can't make a decision then choose both whenever possible.
Michael T. Irvin
"Get To The Top Without The Slop"