I Love You, User Feedback, But I Can’t Love All of You (Right Now)

One of the things that makes working on Stride so much fun for me is how engaged and passionate our users are about it. That means that, among other things, that we get a lot of feedback through email, Twitter, and UserVoice.

We read every single piece of input we get and try really hard to make sure that we not only consider each carefully, but respond honestly and frankly. We appreciate all of it — positive and negative, large and small. Please keep it coming.

That said, we can’t implement every idea that comes our way. We have finite time, resources, focus, and sanity.

More importantly, we shouldn’t implement every idea. There’s an old joke that a camel is a horse that was designed by committee, but the truth is so much worse than that. If you really designed a horse by committee, it would have fifteen legs of varying length and orientations, a dozen tails of all different colors, no head, and a big wheel in the back. It’s not a recipe for any service that I would want to use.

That means saying no to things. No one likes disappointing people, but I’m a lot more comfortable disappointing a few people when their ideas don’t make the cut than making a lousy, bloated product that disappoints everyone. (And, for the record, my ideas get ruthlessly culled as much as anyone’s.)

So how do we decide what feedback to run with? I’m so glad you asked. We evaluate each piece of feedback against a few questions:

  1. Is it consistent with our long-term vision for Stride?
  2. Does it provide good bang-for-the-buck on time vs. benefit?
  3. Can we implement it in a way that doesn’t slow down the user?
  4. Can we design and build it in a way that doesn’t add clutter or confusion?
  5. Is it something that will help most of our users’ businesses?
  6. Is this something I’ll use?

The underlying theme is simply: does this contribute to making Stride the fastest and easiest way to track sales for small business? If the answer is no, that’s the ball game.

Keep the ideas coming. We love getting them, and every month some great user ideas make their way into Stride. Just not all of them.

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