Web Things Considered

Friday, October 21, 2005

Is Flock a half-assed product?

I mentioned Flock last month and was really excited to check it out yesterday when they launched their public beta. Wow, what a disappointment. I'll keep my POFF (Plain Old FireFox) for now, thanks.

I do like the del.icio.us integration, though it bugs me how easy it is to bookmark something without any tags, (when using the star button, there's a tiny black arrow to click on if you want to add tags, but it's definitely not obvious and it's difficult to click on because it's so small). Further complaints are that it's incredibly slow, the blogging tool doesn't really add much value, and the RSS reader is useless as far as I can tell (I want to store my subscriptions online, just like my bookmarks, how 'bout Bloglines integration?).

It's very interesting to see the abundance of negative feedback with the early reviews. This seems to be a good reinforcement of the 37 signals motto, "Build half a product, not a half-assed product". Flock seems pretty half-assed right now. You can put up all the disclaimers in the world, but once you put something out there, it will be judged.

With NetworthIQ, we've taken the half a product concept to heart by focusing on a limited number of features to get it out the door quickly. What features we do have are at least three-quarter assed ;-). But, then again, we don't have millions of VC funding and are building it in our spare time.