Are you familiar with the term “kill your darlings”?

Years ago I used to write for the Guardian, which to be honest I really loved because I loved having an audience but part of the process of writing in a very tight way for that sort of very fitted audience translates to the process of building a product in a technology business.

The idea of “kill your darlings” is that you have an idea that you think is great, and you try to write the article around it. But as you’re writing, you find this idea just doesn’t fit. You change things and chop things out and add things out, but it just doesn’t have a NATURAL fit. You eventually have to kill this “darling idea” you have for the greater good of the overall effort.

In product design in your startup, you have to give yourself the freedom to kill your darlings. That feature, or idea, or customer profile, or UI design, or even just those colours or fonts, sometimes it won’t come together and that darling idea you had, sadly it has to go.