A good point from Godin the other day:
One of my favorite ideas in the new wave of programming is the notion of minimal viable product. The thought is that you should spec and build the smallest kernel of your core idea, put it in the world and see how people react to it, then improve from there.
For drill bits and other tools, this makes perfect sense. Put it out there, get it used, improve it. The definition of “minimal” is obvious.
Often, for software we use in public, this definition leads to failure. Why? Two reasons:
1. Marketing plays by different rules than engineering. Many products depend on community, on adoption within a tribe, on buzz–these products aren’t viable when they first launch, precisely because they haven’t been adopted. “Being used by my peers,” is a key element of what makes something like a fax machine a viable product, and of course, your new tool isn’t.