Do you know of a mobile-first, repsonsive, minimal, flat-ui, opensource, gh-hostable, theme for jekyll that supports jekyll-plugins and wysiwyg editing of markdown without a manual build ? Yeah, neither do I and turns out I don’t need it to get a blog up and running.

Feature Creep is paved with good intentions

It started with a simple desire to have a easy to use blog. Ok sweet, I’ll just use a hosted platform and get going in a couple of hours. As I looked into Medium, Jekyll, and GH-Pages I started creating an list of real and percieved limitations and ways to engineer around them. Like many a well intentioned,engineer, product manager, executive, or sales person - I managed to chimerically grow the list of features and associated “engineering” work before the first iteration of value could be delivered.

Both, as a strategy consultant and as a PM at Cisco, I’ve learned that MVP doesn’t mean low fidelity. However, even design is susceptible to feature creep. Black on White a-la bootstrap would have been more than fine. But then I started admiring Medium’s minimalism and the awesome-newness and vibrant colors of flat UI - it crept into the must haves. Adding hours of launch preventing work for what is basically “sugar”.

Discipline, Discipline was the thing !

– Colonel Hathi, Jungle Book (Disney)

Two time tested approaches to nip feature creep

I’ve seen two ways to keep feature creep in check - they’re both variations on enforcing product discipline.

The first is a time bound release - I committed to releasing v0 of the blog on August 1st. Thus making everything else secondary. Any change and scope increase needed to be justified (change control anyone ?) Time’s Up. Ship It!

The second is by having the courage to say no. While there is some base level of visual appeal and functionality - No one will stop reading the blog because version 1 doesn’t have a pixel perfect rendering of the twitter button or the exact right “final” colors! This theme looks nice and gets the content out there.

Just Ship it!