Over-engineered Product

Question"You wrote about over-engineering at technology driven-companies. What is an over-engineered product?"

Over-engineered products are those that provide more features or exhibit performance levels beyond what is necessary for the product's intended use. Products that are unnecessarily complicated with many complex features are not necessarily over-engineered.

Technology-driven companies are focused on technology. In a technology-driven company the engineers often inflate the product's feature set in an attempt to increase a product's value.

Over-engineering can create bloated products with unnecessary features. Consequently, users will experience feature fatigue – a condition where the product has too many features to be used effectively (e.g. cell phones and some software products).

A fine example of an over-engineered product is the BMW iDrive, a centralized and comprehensive control system for BMW's passenger vehicles. There are supposedly 800 different features and options in the iDrive.

For more information, see the Blackblot PMTK Book: Second Edition.