Excuse the seriously half-baked post, but in the wake of Aaron and Dan’s post about Flickr, and the thought that the idea of a product doing more than just sharing seemed to be anathema, I posted the phrase “Maximum Viable Product” to Twitter.
The idea of the minimum viable product is well known, especially in startup circles: launch the simplest thing that works. This is great, and it often solves the convenience problems some argue the web is there for, but I hope that we can do better.
Look at Pinboard; people could just save all of their links to Twitter, but the signup fee and the (extra every year) archiving mean that you can actually go back and find things. That’s worth something; not to everyone, but to enough people that it’s a profitable undertaking.
There’s always more you can add to a product, and eventually you have to stop - I realise that. However, you can still add some things- not everything needs to be stripped to the core. The real world has plenty of room for products and services that do the extra to justify their higher price, and I think the web does, too.
(See also: a post by Allen Pike with the same title that goes into more depth and actually reflects on products, rather than just being a grumpy reckon.)