Customers Over Competitors

An anonymous poster asked a good question yesterday on the Poker Copilot discussion forum. To paraphrase,

“Why doesn’t Poker Copilot have feature X that some Windows products have?”

There are two reasons.

The first reason is this: Poker Copilot is a one-person operation. I have a finite amount of time and need to prioritise.

Secondly, I don’t pay much attention to competitors. Even if Poker Tracker finally releases their Mac OS X version, I won’t give it much attention. If I follow my competitors closely, I’ll become preoccupied with the wrong things. I’ll start obsessing over the features they have. I believe I should be obsessing over the features my customers ask for instead of the features my competitors have.

Why re-invent the wheel, you may ask? Why not use the most popular Windows products as a spec, and copy what they do? The little I have seen of the Windows products are a usability disaster. They use what I call Matroshka tabs: tabs within tabs within tabs. Buttons and icons and check-boxes are flung everywhere. I try hard to add important features without making the user interface overwhelming. It’s a tough balance.

I’m finding that people tell me what features Poker Copilot is missing. I try to focus on the most highly requested features.

Sometimes I’ll suddenly get an avalanche of requests for a specific feature. I interpret that as a sign that a) a Windows poker analysis product has added that feature; and b) people like it. And therefore it becomes high priority.