Killer Features

Some products have 'killer' features. These features are so frustrating that they kill my desire to use said products. Some examples:

The lesson here is that poorly placed friction points can ruin an otherwise great product. Look at GoToMeeting: if you think about it, it's an amazing technology. Three people who are thousands of miles apart can join a virtual meeting, share their screens with each other, share comments and links via text chat, and talk on the phone -- all at the same time! For free. How great is that? And yet, because the experience of joining a meeting is frustrating, I cringe every time I see a GTM invite.

I know, I know, #firstworldproblems, right? Right. If you're providing a service with lock-in, like an enterprise product that's forced on all employees by management, then friction is fine. People will resent it, but they'll put up with it because they won't have a choice. However, if you're in a market where users have many alternatives to choose from, your funnel is going to suffer. You'll have fewer sign-ups, lower engagement, and higher churn. A smooth user experience is very important. Startups should track user behavior, find clear points of friction and frustration, and eliminate them. Do you really need to force users to use unhackable passwords? Would the world end if you gave someone an extra 5 seconds to enter a meeting PIN, or if you let them post videos under an alias? No, probably not. Don't let decisions like that impede the adoption of your otherwise great product.



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