A customer sent me an email asking for a poll feedback functionality for UXWizz (a self-hosted analytics platform). A poll is, for example, a simple question form with with a Yes/No answer. The answer should be saved into a database when submitted.
Initially I wanted to implement it as a feature within the product but I am strongly against adding features that are not core to the product (analytics). Realizing that this is really easy to implement I thought it might be better to simply create a page in the docs explaining how to do it.
It took less than an hour to create the poll widget and tutorial.
The best part now is that if I ever decide to include this snippet as an actual feature within the product, I just have to copy the code described in the documentation.
This has other benefits too:
I saw some references to "docs-driven development" across the web, but their philosophy was different, it was more about correctly documenting existing or planned features (similar to TDD).
This might even work in other domains, for example phyisical products: teach the customer through the user manual specific ways in which they could use or enhance the product. If enough customers do that then optimize for that use-case. I do I think though that this works best for products targeted towards technical or DYI people.