The typical story
Let’s say you’re a countertop fabricator who just started using some Moraware software. During the sales process and while you’re first getting into the product, we aim to show you as much as possible and be completely honest with you. We’ve found over the years that this onboarding style works best in getting you set up for success. This, however, does not go over every button and feature that the software is or isn’t capable of.
So, it’s definitely possible that there was a button you expected to exist… and it’s simply not there! So, you shoot us a quick email letting us know that you’d really like to see that. And, you get a response from the Moraware Team saying something like…
“Yup, I totally understand why you’d want that, but it’s not there. I’m going to add it to the list for our development team.”
Time goes by and you don’t hear anything back from us… Did we forget your request or are we just messing around? Of course we didn’t! Here’s some insight into our process.
The math of our feature wish-list
Having a good number of active users is a great thing. Along with that comes a lot of feature requests. Why do we see this as a good thing? Because it means our users are wanting to get “more out of Moraware” and that is awesome! Although there are some themes in the kinds of requests we get, it’s pretty rare that two people ask us for the exact same thing – mostly because there is such a variance in types of shops that use our software.
So, based on the number of customers we get, the number of requests we get on average (imagine me typing furiously on the calculator), and the time it takes to develop software… we have to say “No” to 99% of the features we get asked about.
Sometimes that’s a “hard no” – for example, it might be a request that isn’t aligned with our overall product direction or our philosophy. But more often than not, it’s a great idea that we want to get to and will get to….eventually.
Doing the most important thing
At Moraware, we have an overall approach of just working on the “most important thing”. There are a couple of ways that we think about importance, but we want to deliver features that have the biggest business impact for the most countertop fabricators.
We also want to make sure our products stay usable and well-designed. Oh, and we also want to make sure we improve our team’s quality of life when we build features. And I forgot, a bunch of our development time goes to incremental bug-fixes and small improvements just to keep everything running smoothly.
If we added “just one more button” every time a customer asked for it, our software would be an unusable monstrosity, and our sales and support teams would revolt. That would be sad!
In practice, what that means is that we’re just looking at one feature or idea at a time. Everything else is tied for 2nd place. Sometimes the #1 thing is small and it might take hours or days to finish. Other times (like when we built CounterGo or Systemize), it might take years.
What you can do to help
When you contact us about a feature request, we try not to interpret or filter what you’re saying – we just document it so that when our development team is ready to figure out the next “most important thing”, we can take a look at all of the requests and try to find similarities or themes in the requests.
The thing that gets our attention is if there’s a way to provide outsize business value with a feature. “if I had that button, it would save my company four hours per day”, “If we could do that it would let me get an extra sale every week”.
That’s the kind of thing that gets us fired up. We want to help countertop shops improve their businesses, and if you can put your requests in a business context that helps us a ton.
Another thing that’s unusual and would get our attention is asking for a refinement of an existing feature. Usually we’re asked for additional functionality. It’s rare that someone asks for something to be “better”. When we get feature requests about making something better, it really stands out. But, even then it’s most useful if you can describe the value in terms of your dollars or time.
Keep ‘em coming
Despite the fact that those feature requests might not feel like they make an impact, they’re vital to our business. Please, keep letting us know what you’d like to see. Every good thing Moraware has built was the direct result of a request from a customer.
We really appreciate that feedback, and we’ll continue to make our software better and solve more business problems for you.
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