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In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about the process of killing features in your product. Steli and Hiten discuss the difficulty tied to killing a feature, but how it can be necessary to simplify your product. Since killing a feature can affect your current clients, they also discuss how to handle this transaction in a way that builds trust. Tune in to find out when it’s time for you to kill a feature, why Hiten believes killing a feature is an brand building opportunity with customers, and how to prevent the need to kill a feature in the first place.  

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:05 – Today’s episode is about how to kill features in your product

00:35 – Killing features is part of building a great product

01:03 – Hiten re-branded his site to Product Habits so that they could focus on creating better products

01:58 – Steli says that in order to make a product better, it should go through different versions

02:50 – It is hard to kill something that already exists in your product

03:14 – Hiten says it’s hard to kill a feature because there are emotions attached to it

03:43 – An easy way to get over the emotional aspect is to check what is and isn't being utilized by your user base

04:50 – Make the process objective and easy to discuss  

05:15 – You also have to check sales versus utilization

06:23 – Hiten says that as a project manager, you have to look at data constantly and consistently

06:58 – Hiten uses Google Analytics to check his data

07:16 – Steli thinks knowledge is NOT what is lacking in people when it comes to killing a feature

08:19 – There are features that are being used during marketing, but are not utilized afterwards

09:22 – Steli asks Hiten how he handles customers that are vocal about certain features of his product

09:46 – Hiten says removing a feature can be likened to breaking up a relationship

09:55 – Customers can really get used to a feature

10:03 – Offer an alternative to the feature or be open with your reasons to your customers

10:25 – You can build better relationships with your customers because you are letting them in on your decisions

10:44 – If you know why you are killing a feature, you can better communicate it with your customers—thus a brand building moment is forged

11:00 – It’s okay if people leave if they do not like the changes you made

11:15 – Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

11:41 – There are no good or bad reasons in killing features, but it means you are building less into a product

12:02 – Killing a feature meant you built TOO much

12:21 – “There is never a bad reason to kill a feature and, at the same time, you need a good reason to kill a feature”

12:30 – You have to assess the usage of a feature and all the other features of your product

13:20 – Killing a feature will help make the product simpler, easier to use, and more valuable for your customers

14:43 – Steli and Hiten think that killing a feature is NOT a bad thing

15:10 – The better way to not killing a feature is to not build it in the first place—focus and create only what you need

16:14 – Hiten’s tip is to brainstorm objectively with your team about which product or feature needs to be killed

17:04 – Steli’s tip is to be more thoughtful in the building phase and the importance of open communication between the team and customers

18:39 – End of today’s episode

3 Key Points:

An easy way to kill a feature is be objective about it—is it being used or not?

Communication between your team members and customers is crucial—both in deciding what feature to kill AND the conversation you have after you’ve killed that feature.

Be more thoughtful in the creation and early stages of building your product; build only what you need.

Key points in this episode

Key Highlights

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