Features vs. benefits

Perl‘s my language of choice. Perl’s a dynamic computer language, similar to Python or Ruby. There’s very little that you can do in Perl that other languages can’t do as well, but it has one huge killer feature—CPAN, a community-curated archive of tens of thousands of bits of pre-written open source code libraries. Without CPAN, Perl is just another language. With CPAN, Perl is a power tool that lets you deliver results lickety-split.

Perl developer chromatic breaks down the distinction between features and benefits when marketing Perl:

“The high point of the book so far—a technique I’ve used on three projects in the past week to great results—is to distinguish between technical features and customer benefits. In other words, while experienced Perl masters might say “Perl 5 is great because you have access to the CPAN”, that’s a feature. The benefit is that “80% of most programs has already been written”…While the as-yet unlaunched value analysis site a couple of us are launching for small investors has the technical feature “updates analysis after market close every day”, the benefit to customers is “gives you the best advice possible whenever you check it”.…My experience so far has been that the exercise of comparing features to benefits takes some time, but yields great results. Try it yourself; it’s easy. Grab a piece of paper and make two lists. On the left side, write all of the distinct technical features you consider worth mentioning. When you finish, write on the right side a benefit from the customer or user point of view corresponding to that technical feature. Sometimes there’s overlap, and that’s okay.” [via]

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