An idea has been catching on mostly in minds of software developers. This idea is about, “How to make software that is simple and small”.
We are all used to huge software. One of the example of a huge software is your office application that you use at your desktop. Its has so many menu and options that sometimes it is difficult to find where to get the right information.
So why would someone not want the product to be simple and elegant. It is the customer and sales department of software companies. These days the competition between various software vendors is boiling down to two points( unfortunately), price and features. You guessed it right if you say that price should be lowest and features should be highest.
Take a look at your desktop software. How much % of the total features that are provided in the software that you actually use. Hardly more than 20-30%. But definitely the software developer has put enormous amount of effort in actually creating resources that you hardly use. Not that you would mind additional features but most of the time they remain unused.
There are large disadvantages when a customer starts comparing a software with another feature by feature. He probably is comparing those features too which his company’s employees will never use. Infact he is increasing cost of software for his company because more features bring additional complexity to software development, increases user training difficulties and later when customer decides to upgrade a complex systems, the cost is extremely high.
In this very popular website, the concept of developing a software with very few features is explained very clearly.
I think there needs to be a movement where software is broken up into components where people who don’t want certain features should be exempted from the costs that have been incurred while developing these features.
Customers also need to understand that purchasing software that feature rich is not always the best choice. Changing this attitude will also allow other vendors into the procurement process thereby getting more choices for purchase.