How do we decide FirstSpot new features

One of the key question that concerns our customers is that how do we decide FirstSpot new features. The key thing to note that FirstSpot is a product, rather than a project (like building a web site based on customer requirements). So apart from hearing from our customers, we also “invent” features that customers do not necessary ask for. At the present moment, we use a 7:3 ratio (7 customers feedback, 3 our own invention) and we find that this fits the current stage of FirstSpot product cycle quite well. We feel obligated to provide a certain leadership in the product direction. This is especially important as the hotspot market keeps evolving. We are not afraid of innovating and taking some chances on some of the new FirstSpot features.

In addition, among the different customer feedback,¬†we use two criteria to decide which feature gets in. First, the feedback need to come from more than one customer (or at least should be useful for another customer). In the past, we implement some features that are useful for one customer only! So we need ensure the feature is not a just a “special case”. Also, the customer requirements need to fit FirstSpot current architecture. We need to balance the customer requirements with the amount of effort that needs to implement a particular feature. For enhancements that are useful to many customers but require major architecture change, we will usually try to implement it during major version change (e.g. v5 -> v6).

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