The biggest design decision I’ve made is more of a continuous philosophy: do as few extremely time-consuming features as possible. As a result, Instapaper is a collection of a bunch of very easy things and only a handful of semi-hard things.
This philosophy sounds simple, but it isn’t: geeks like us are always tempted to implement very complex, never-ending features because they’re academically or algorithmically interesting, or because they can add massive value if done well, such as speech or handwriting recognition, recommendation engines, or natural-language processing.
These features — often very easy for people but very hard for computers — often produce mediocre-at-best results, are never truly finished, and usually require massive time investments to achieve incremental progress with diminishing returns.” —
@johnv at our office showed us the value of producing features/services within our impact horizon. If we determine a project will take longer to launch then we can guarentee it will have an affect on our business then we do not do it. Turns out you hay have the best enhancement imaginable for a current user base, but if it takes a year to launch it there’s a huge risk that your user base’s interest will have changed in that time and the feature is of no benefit at all at that time.