The stories we hear about (software) product development tend to be the success stories. The guys who made it big. And a never ending analysis of “how you can be just like them”.
But very few people know precisely what combination of vision, skill, timing and luck made them a success. And fewer are able to articulate it. And personal experience tells me that I learn as much, if not more, when things go against me than when things go swimmingly well.
So I learned a lot from this post which describes a failed project and ascribes some of the failures to engineering decisions made during the product development lifecycle. The three mistakes Ari identifies that are most generally applicable to software developers are:
Mistake: Defaults Matter
Mistake: Make it Instantly Useful
Mistake: Don’t Let Technology Decide
For the record this is how I landed up at the post. Started by looking around at Max Bleyleben’s blog on Technorati. Which took me to Max Niederhofer and from there to Union Square Ventures and from there to Ari’s great post