Avoiding Unprofitable Feature Bloat

by Travis Ketchum · 3 comments

Feature bloated swiss army knife

There is a mythical balance between “value” and simply appeasing the “shiny syndrome” that every one of us seems to have (myself included sometimes).

Recently, through both my own experience and talking to several very successful entrepreneurs who sell products online I have found a recurring theme that can be very frustrating for people that care about the success of their audience.

People generally don’t seem to want things that are actually good for them.

Let me explain, because if you can digest this it will save and/or make you thousands of dollars (in my experience, but of course yours may vary).

What People Think They Want

When it comes to marketing and products, people want that “silver bullet” that is going to solve all their problems over night with basically no work.

They want the shortcut or the “secret system” that gives them all the financial wealth, social status and more that they desire without putting in the hard earned hours to get there.

I wish this was just the gross generalization that it sounds like, but all I have to work with is the data from my multi-thousands of subscribers and customers.

Are there people who understand what it takes to achieve real, sustainable success? Of course, but that’s not going to be the majority of who you are marketing to.

Things That Help People (what we really want to sell)

If you talk to most product creators online, we would love absolutely nothing more than to help our customers attain real, sustainable success.

Want to know what we do? We dump everything we have at our audience that we KNOW is helpful and two things happen as a result.

  • People get overwhelmed and stop paying attention, or even opt-out
  • The real solution sounds like too much work and they go to the guy willing to sell that silver bullet

So this means that by giving people the real, complete solution on what works in the market today we end up with flat sales and a shrinking list.

It’s safe to say that the majority of this user fatigue comes from product creators trying to pack too much value into a single offer.

However, there is something you can do to fight this affliction in the industry and walk the line between “dead simple silver bullet” and “actually creates value” but it takes some time to hone in.

Staying Relentlessly Focused

The number one way to avoid marketing failure with products that actually help people is to limit the sense of overwhelm.

Most useful offerings are overwhelming because they present the whole picture in one take and only a small percentage of your audience might be ready for such an intense overview.

Imagine if you were obese and decided to take on a personal trainer, and on day one your trainer told you that the only way to lose weight would be to run 20 miles right off the bat.

Most people would say hell no and leave immediately, I know I would if I was told that’s the only way.

BUT, what if instead of being told you had to run 20 miles right away you were only asked to walk 5 blocks and back?

Then next week it’s 7 blocks, so on and so forth.

If you can find a way to give people milestones that actually feel attainable, and focus on key low impact areas of their business that can still produce a few results then you’ve nailed it.

Your customers will be much more receptive, more willing to try your method of attaining results and everyone wins.

However this ONLY attainable if you cut out everything that is not the minimally required set of actions to achieve first tier results.

SPECIAL BONUS: Download my personal checklist

I feel so strongly about the viability of focus based marketing compared to the false shiny silver bullet that I made a checklist PDF to use while bringing your own product to market.

This is the same checklist/thought process I use when bringing my products to market that have easily reached six figures in revenue.

Click here to download my 10 step “Anti-Feature Bloat & Market Viability” guide now

About Travis Ketchum
A smart ass marketer who doesn't take no for an answer and always questions the status quo. Connect with me on Google+. Convinced yet? Get more tips and great content 100% free.

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Building a sustainable business is all about how well you can gather and maintain an audience. An email list is still one of the most viable ways to do just that.

We wanted to find a way to build an email incredibly fast, in a way that people actually find interesting, engaging and well - cool. It took a lot of testing to weed-whack through all the hype and find something that really worked.

The result? We ended up building our own solution, focused around the idea of contests and rewarding people for taking the actions that ultimately led to more leads on our email list. Everyone wins (and some literally do!), because as it turns out people love contests regardless of their market place.

Click to continue…

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerry August 9, 2012 at 11:07 AM


Thanks for the post and for actually caring!!

Soo many guru’s out there that dont respond to customers or give the time to their product or service.

I just stop following them after a while of all promotion but no response or interaction.

They sell the silver bullet then leave customers hanging.


Travis Ketchum August 9, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Unfortunately that’s kind of the trend in the industry, but the funny part is that I really don’t think of the guru’s want to run their business that way.

I’m probably an optimist, but I believe that if more people bought what was good for them instead of the silver bullet that you’d see more investment in awesome products, services and platforms for getting things done.

But until that happens, I think most people will keep the best services as internal tools πŸ˜‰

Thanks for taking the time to comment Jerry!


Siva Nalavenkata September 7, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Nice way of putting minimalism. Not many entrepreneurs understand it (including myself). I have started a new product and as usual the mind tends to get greedy – Wants to implement everything under the sun πŸ™‚ . This is how I am working out things to stay focused.

1. Every week at the end of the development cycle, make sure I stop for a moment, and think like a user.
2. Every 2 to 3 weeks I stop and analyze if those features I implemented are really necessary for the user – Can he/she live without it ? ( Atleast for Alpha )


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