We have written before about the dangers of adding features to your product just to make customers happy. Des Traynor wrote a great article recently about prioritizing the most used features over the marginal utility features that hang around unloved, bloating your app, hogging the UI and adding to maintenance costs.
It's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that adding features will "add value" to your product. Traynor mentions the Swiss Army knive as an example:
A useless saw. A blade that Mick Dundee would laugh at. A dirty toothpick, a tiny scissors. The worlds worst screwdrivers. What a mess. I see similar traits in software apps. You know the sort. "It records bugs, it visualizes web traffic, it has a to-do list, it even makes french fries."
Which features should I add? Which ones should I omit?
Traynor's answer to this question is very simple: When you have a wish-list full of sound like a good idea' features, simply ask Who'll use it, and how often?
Focus your efforts on the features which are used by all of your customers all the time. Doubling down on these features adds far more value then adding ones which a few select customers would use.
If "Upload file"' is something everyone uses all the time then it's worth making sure you've got a great uploader, whether it's drag and drop, or progress bars, or whatever else helps.
If you're building features that only a small sliver of your customer base heavily depend on, your product is doing more than it should. These customers won't be happy if you remove these features, but they're worth very little to you. You can try hiding them behind preferences, but be careful. This line of thinking leads you away from a cohesive product and toward consultingware, where your product is a mixed bag of mediocre features.
As we mentioned before, if you're just starting to grow a product, adding more features will not necessarily create more revenue. Nailing the most used core features of the product is where you want to focus. Every company will eventually add features to create additional revenue, but the key is to refrain from doing so before your product in mature enough.