I really love this image that I saw from a presentation @ Web 2.0 Expo NY by Jason Fried (37signals), High Order Bit. You can view his presentation here.
I believe this is the Homer's car that he designed when he wanted everything in a car. Jason speaks to this as an example of software development and what happens when you say yes to too many features; too many customers—you end up looking like this. As developers, you have to have discipline and avoid being everything to everyone.
I think this is so true and a challenge for lots of companies to manage. Think of yourself as a curator—decide what comes in and what comes out. A curators job is to say NO. Think about your product as a museum and your features as art. Not all the art in the world goes in the museaum, just those that have relevance. This is a great presentation on developing your product.
Make it a collection, not a warehouse.At WeAreTeachers, we deal with this issue all the time. Often, we go to developers and ask them to do what Flickr is doing with images, tagging, etc. or to add a blog feature similar to what X is doing and the list goes on. What I want to hear from our developer is "Yes We Can!" What happens then is that we deal with what a few people want and other times we do what everyone else wants or is doing. I often fall into the trap of feels like wanting to be everything to everyone. This image/presentation is a good reminder to balance between what you want, what customers want and what is right.
This notion, I believe, also applies to my personal life. I seem to always want to say yes to everything and to everyone. There are lots of things out there, and not all good, the balance is to be a curator and determine what art goes in the museum.