Product Sashimi

I wrote this post for the Communitech blog. It’s cross-posted here.

Say you’re about to start designing a software product. You’ve got a few ideas and a blank whiteboard. You’ve gathered together people who understand the problem you’re trying to solve and the people who will value the solution.

You could brainstorm a bunch of features and start building them, but how do you know which features will actually be used and which will end up buried in some menu, untouched?

To avoid that, you need to get your product into the hands of users in order to get feedback (and revenue) as soon as possible. “Product Sashimi” is the term coined by JB Rainsberger for a set of techniques that help you thinly slice your product to deliver the simplest thing that could possibly work. Delivering a simple product early means you can find out directly from your users what additional features they would find valuable so you don’t have to build the ones they won’t.

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