That's pretty much the answer. In this case it wasn't a horizontal/vertical issue, simply that the feature was easily added by other, more comprehensive platforms.
We need to move away from the growth at all costs mindset, and go back to focusing on building world class products. It is perfectly ok to slow down once in a while, and not just chase the next quarter's numbers.
Trello was a success, and we should celebrate what they did. Not deride them because they didn't live up to some VC's hyper-inflated expectations.
>Hindsight, of course, is 20/20. While I’ve spent most of this post talking about Trello’s missed opportunity, we shouldn’t forget that building a SaaS business that’s worth over $10M, let alone one that’s worth $425M, is a huge accomplishment.
That's pretty much it. It was an insanely easy idea to copy, you can already do it with sticky notes if you work in an office. I don't really think you can improve the service beyond that; It's a note tracker, it tracks notes.
This is more or less how it looks on a full-screen Retina 15" Macbook Pro: http://pcgen.org/autobuilds/pcgen-docs/images/jira/jira_04.p...
If Trello is such a simple product, how are the competition failing to make their version as refined? I've never found a single competitor that has made their Kanban board feel like Trello, so until then, I'll just keep using Trello.