A college student wrote in to Picnik asking for general advice about how to create a similar project for school. After reminding him that we’ve had a team of people working on Picnik for several years, and tossing a few book recommendations his way, I closed with this advice:
Overall I think the best way to start is to have an interesting, compelling vision for what you want to create, and then throw away as much as possible until you’re down to the absolute smallest thing you can deliver that would make sense. It’s easy (too easy!) to add features, but removing unnecessary complexity after the fact can be nearly impossible. Think small! Version 2 (or 3) is usually a complete rewrite anyway.