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Create a Product Your Customers Will Want Are more features what your customers really want? Try to make your product do too much, and it may end up doing nothing at all.

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There's an old Saturday Night Live skit about a diner that serves only cheeseburgers, chips and Pepsi. Little did anyone know that the skit's catchphrase, "Cheeseburger, cheeseburger! No Coke. Pepsi!" would sum up a growing mantra for 21st-century consumers: fewer choices, please.

Consumers are feeling overwhelmed as companies race to add more functions, designs, options and service plans. The same skit today could make fun of the endless number of burger choices the diner offers instead of how few.

The burgeoning selection facing consumers is an accelerating trend as technology makes it easier for companies to process information, says Roland Rust, a marketing professor at the University of Maryland in College Park who coined the term "feature fatigue" to describe the beleaguered feeling today's consumers have about products overloaded with features. He points to BMW's iDrive, a dashboard information and entertainment system estimated to carry 700 features, as an example of features run amok. "The temptation for anyone designing products is 'Let's just pack 100, 200 or 700 things into the product,'" he says. "It makes you wonder what people [inside companies] are thinking."

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