Feature fatigue


Is it just me or is there such a "diagnoses" as "feature fatigue"? On more than one occasions I noticed that when I am about 75% though new feature development I am starting to stall and my development rally slows-down. Shouldn't it be the the opposite -- hurry up to push it out the door?

Is this the right place to ask this questions or do I need a shrink? Any other bootstrappers out there that experienced such symptoms?


Bootstrapped Software Project Planning

asked May 7 '10 at 03:44
1,698 points

2 Answers


This is a pretty typical behavior that happens periodically whether it's development, marketing or many other functional areas and tasks.

I'm a marketer. When I'm working on an event or a plan or an ad or a script or whatever...often the last 10% or so is the toughest to push through. I get excited about the project and what it's supposed to achieve...I get excited to learn and prepare however is required to define the project...I get excited through the creative development process as it takes shape...I get excited to see it get close to the original vision (or however it changed through the creation process)...then for whatever reason, I just want it to be done. Sometimes I lose steam to do the last bits to complete it. Perhaps it's because those are fairly small and don't give me any type of rewarding feeling...it's just polishing, refining. Doesn't give nearly the positive buzz.

I've seen this every company I've been with, in many functional areas. Not always but enough.

So just be aware this is a very common feeling, nothing wrong with you in particular. If you feel it happening, figure out a way to push through it.

What I do if I'm stalling is very clearly articulate very specific tasks I need to do, list them out and motivate myself to get each done, thereby finishing my project. Sometimes I'll take a little break, go for a run or something else just before pushing through the effort to completion. It's good to have a fresh and rested brain. Often just a little break can make a big difference.

Best of luck!

answered May 7 '10 at 04:14
4,214 points
  • Ah... starting to feel better already. Yes, I go for a walk if I can when my creative process comes to a halt. Sometimes, though I have to shelf the project unfinished for a few weeks and switch to something else. When I get back to it later, it does take time to figure out why I did certain things the way I did but once I get through that stage I'm off to a good finish! – Usabilitest 14 years ago


In my experience there are three types of people: natural starters, natural workers, and natural finishers. You can learn to be any of these, but for the most part everybody instinctively falls into one of these categories.

Most people are workers. Most people in a start-up environment unsurprisingly are starters. Finishers are rare in any environment; a skilled finisher is invaluable.

So you need to figure out how to force yourself to be a finisher. It's very hard; but recognizing it is an important step.

Here's something that may help:

http://www.vimeo.com/5895898 "What you do for a living is not be creative; what you do for a living is ship. [...] It's easy to ship on time and on budget. When you run out of time or money, you ship. Shipping isn't a good idea, it's a commitment and an obligation."

answered May 7 '10 at 04:48
407 points

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