Atomic is everywhere. James Clear popularized atomic habits, Andrew Chen chats atomic networks in the Cold Start problem, and Ship 30 for 30 touts atomic essays (what you’re reading now). I did a quick google search to see what atomic thinking applies to products and didn’t find much, so what follows is my application of these atomic ideas to what could be atomic products.
But first, what’s an atom? An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter that forms a chemical element. So at a high level, applying to a product, an atomic product is the smallest product that solves a problem. I think atomic products have the following features:
Feature #1 solves a single problem
Atomic products solve a single problem and only do one thing at a time.
Feature #2 Can standalone
While atomic products can be building blocks of much larger products, they still provide functionality and benefit to users all on their own.
Feature #3 Take just enough time to build
Atomic products take just enough time to solve a single problem. No more, no less. So what’s just enough time? It depends but with the evolution of no-code, we’ll see atomic products coming to life in minutes to hours.
And that’s it, excited to jam and think on this further and see what examples in the wild may fit an atomic product in a future essay.