Decisions, Not Options

As I dive deeper into my career as a web developer, I often need to remind myself that we can’t always try and cram every feature we want into a product. Indeed, part of the WordPress philosophy is to make decisions, and not options. This means that we, as developers, should take time and think before adding features to not only reduce bloat, but to ultimately make the user experience better. It is easy to get carried away, but as the philosophy notes, “it’s our duty as developers to make smart design decisions and avoid putting the weight of technical choices on our end users.” This is especially true for version one of a product launch. I recently stumbled upon a post by Matt Mullenweg, one of the co-founders of WordPress, and the founder of Automattic, entitled “1.0 is the Loneliest Number.” Mullenweg states that “if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.” This essentially means that you should get your product out the door lest it fall victim to the onslaught of too many options. This is not to say that you should release a buggy product, but rather that you need to take a step back and ask yourself “is this necessary?” This has always been in the back of my mind, but if you read the post by Mullenweg, it makes a lot of sense.