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Kitchen Sink or Swiss Army Knife

(img src: pixabay)

In a recent conversation, I kept referring to something as a kitchen sink. After a while, in a very subtle change of tone, the other participant in the discussion called it a swiss army knife. The words make a difference in the way our mind looks at things.

When we say kitchen sink, it is a negative reference to everything under the world being put into the product (often referred to as feature-itis). Sometimes we are quick to judge and call it this, without necessarily understanding the product development journey so far.

When you call it a swiss army knife, this suddenly changes to a product with a carefully thought out superset of features, where each feature can be useful to a different user, and as a whole, is considered a usual package.

In fact, the metaphor extends visually as well. Our minds never picture a kitchen sink as a clean thing – it is always overflowing with dirty dishes (I don’t know why!!), whereas the swiss army knife is pictured as a slick compact device with more features than you can visually count.

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