I suppose this won’t come as a shock to many people, but it’s always nice to hear messages like this reiterated by people outside of the Ux community. Dharmesh Shah, author of OnStartups, posted an article today about seven key insights in selling software to small businesses. Item number one on the list is:

Ease Of Use Is Critical: This should not come as any big surprise. Each of the companies represented emphasized how important it was to ensure that the product is simple and easy to use. Ease of use helps both at time of customer acquisition and as the company starts to scale with volume. Problems with usability lead to all sorts of other problems (not the least of which is higher attrition rates and higher support costs).

This principle doesn’t just apply to software created by startups, though, I hasten to point out. When InfoWorld awarded Visual Studio 2005 (my product) with their 2005 Best IDE Award, they specifically called out the ease of use of the suite as being a key factor in their decision.