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Chapter 24:

Hidden Costs

Next: Can You Handle It?

Expose the price of new features

Even if a feature makes it past the “no” stage, you still need to expose its hidden costs.

For example, be on the lookout for feature loops (i.e. features that lead to more features). We’ve had requests to add a meetings tab to Basecamp. Seems simple enough until you examine it closely. Think of all the different items a meetings tab might require: location, time, room, people, email invites, calendar integration, support documentation, etc. That’s not to mention that we’d have to change promotional screenshots, tour pages, FAQ/help pages, the terms of service, and more. Before you know it, a simple idea can snowball into a major headache.

For every new feature you need to…

We made Basecamp using the principles in this book. It combines all the tools teams need to get work done in a single, streamlined package. With Basecamp, everyone knows what to do, where things stand, and where to find things they need.