Deliver Polish over Features

Deliver Polish over Features

Bad Service vs. Bad Product

I went to Burger King the other day and ordered a value meal. I didn’t get my ice tea. Did I play it cool? Fuck no - I was pissed! Here’s the crazy part: their value meal only cost me \$5.76. I eat at several places where a burger and fries will cost you more than \$6 (with no ice tea) and they’re not even as good as BK. Why don’t I get pissed at these places for their inferior product? Because I have an agreement. I pay for what I order and I get what I order.

It’s funny to think about, but even if I get shitty tasting fries and a horrible burger, I won’t complain. I just figure that’s the deal. As long as it’s hot and I get all of the components of the deal, it’s a fair trade. But I’ll blow a gasket if I’m missing something I ordered, even if the food is ten times better. The interesting part is why…


When you pay for anything, you have a predetermined idea of what your getting based on the selection menu. With software, features are listed on the product page telling you all of the cool and “ultra-essential” things that this product can do. The problem arises if the product can’t perform one of these features. I don’t care if the feature is the most useless in the world, like the hand warmer on my 40-in-one appzilla app. If it’s listed, I want it in there and working.

Lessons Learned

The idea of polish over features is something we had to learn the hard way with our Reflect7 sports apps. Sure, we have all of the rosters, schedules, and rankings for every team, but are those systems always up-to-date and working? Right now some of the teams are in limbo and customer complaints are coming through in droves. I don’t blame them. We managed their expectations in a way where they expected to get these features. When the features were working half-ass this season, they started to complain, much like i complain when I only get 2/3rds of my value meal order. The customer expected to get something more and that something wasn’t delivered.

Learn from the Master

Customer expectations is something that Apple has mastered. Sure, they weren’t the first with multitasking, but when they executed, they did it in a way that didn’t drain the battery or leave open unwanted processes. They put polish ahead of features. The most important thing is to deliver what you promised even if it may be less. Because when it works flawlessly, less is more.

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