Indie Tip #3: Don't try to be cool

Indie Tip #3: Don't try to be cool.

Call it a pet peeve, but it annoys me when I see “cool” applications with “cool” features that provide little or no value to real customers. Honestly, there are waayyy too many useless “Web 2.0” applications that look like they were designed by developers who want A-list bloggers to think they're cool.

Here are some ways you can tell when a developer is trying too hard to be cool:

  • The product's UI is littered with buzzwords like “AJAX” and “Web 2.0”
  • The home page brags about how their software integrates with all the popular social networking sites, but there's no description of what it actually does
  • The documentation contains the word “Micro$oft”
  • They offer tech support on Twitter

“Cool” is fleeting (just ask the Fonz), whereas utility has staying power. So avoid the temptation to build something just to impress your peers, and instead try to build something that'll impress end users with its usefulness. Then customers will think you're cool, because you just made their lives a little simpler.

The way I see it, if you're able to give up the corporate world and code at home in your underwear, then you're already cool. So stop trying to be cool and focus on building something that's useful.

By Nick Bradbury. [Nick Bradbury]

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