One of our favorite parts about building simple cloud accounting software for small business owners is the feedback we get. From the simple “I love Kashoo!” tweet to the much more robust suggestions sent by email, every ounce of dialog helps us build something that is not only useful to you, but also simple to use. (Even notes of “Kashoo isn’t for me and here’s why…” are useful!)
That said, feature requests make up a sizable portion of our inbound chatter. We even get follow-ups requests to those requests! And while we love to see that sort of diligence, we thought it’d be helpful to shed a little light on how we go about evaluating each and every feature suggestions we receive.
One of the first indicators of a suggested feature’s potential is frequency. If a suggestion comes up, we make note of it and let the suggester know we’ve heard them and that we’ll keep an eye on this. The more we see similar requests, the more we start to think on what this feature would look like, what sort of implications it might have on the rest of the product, etc. We also consider the relevance (would this feature apply to just one type of customer?). In a way, you can sort of see that the more a feature is requested, the more it starts to percolate up the priority chain.
Then we start to gauge where this proposed feature would fit in the product roadmap. As an example, say we had a new version of the Kashoo iPad app scheduled for release in a week. It might not make sense to rush a feature to get it in the app before release. Conversely, when we determine a suggested feature worth developing, we look at the long-term product roadmap and strategize on where it fits. That helps us allocate development and design resources so that the feature gets built right.
So what’s that all mean?
Well, first of all, it means we hear and look at each and every feature request you all send our way—we really do. It also means that we keep tabs on the frequency of similar requests. From there, it’s about managing the priority list, determining product fit and making sure our development team has the bandwidth to give a new feature its complete attention. Then it’s to the battle stations otherwise known as our desks!
As always, we appreciate your suggestions. Without them we’d be building cloud accounting software for ourselves instead of you, the fearless small business owners and whip-smart accountants and bookkeepers of the world! So keep ’em coming: firstname.lastname@example.org.