Building a truly great product is hard work. It’s easy to agonize over every last detail; to over-think each and every feature; to get lost down the “it would be cool if…” rabbit hole.

Something I’ve been trying to consciously improve is my ability to keep a product tightly focused. It’s harder than it sounds, and I’ve certainly made my fair share of blunders over the years. However, something clicked when I started framing each feature decision within the context of the product vision:

Does this feature bring the product closer to my vision for this product?

If, in asking the above of a new product feature, I can’t emphatically say “Yes!”, then it doesn’t ship. A feature can either move your product closer to achieving the vision that you have for it, or it can hinder that progress and degrade the product.

I’ve been ruthlessly applying this principle to what I’ve been building lately (specifically Thinglist and Sets), and I’ve noticed a marked difference in how the products feel to me:

Incredibly focused.

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