Today I want to preach to you the power of simplicity. There is a discreet and utter beauty in the very concept of ‘less is more’. I feel like we often use the expression in hopes of justifying our lack of effort or enthusiasm, but actually, we should strive to do less – strive to work less and think less.
Simple is Supreme
I recently read Rework by Jason Fried (37 Signals). It’s an incredible book and one I plan to write more about in a future post, partly because of its honest content and more so due to it’s concise approach.
Another thing I loved abut it though, and why I brought it up to begin with, is how he illustrates and validates his opinions with real life examples. So I want to do the same.
Amazon brought out the Kindle several years ago. Since then, nothing has changed. The Kindle was originally built for people to read books on. That’s it. Today, the Kindle is being built for people to read books on. They could reimagine the entire device, adding countless features, innovative technology and maybe even a ‘Amazon Siri’, but they don’t.
Twitter and Instagram came after Facebook. They didn’t come alone. There have been and will be plenty of social networks that try to rival Facebook and its predecessors and end up failing miserably. So why did Twitter and Instagram both succeed?
All of these products got it right the first time and continue to thrive today because they all focus on doing one thing well. Really well. Instead of trying to do 1000’s of different things right, do 1 thing perfectly. You don’t need new ideas, you need important ideas.
I strongly believe that decisions hurt the experience, and in the same way, so too do features. Feature creep and ‘over-enhancement’ are real problems – avoid them.
Ask yourself if you want to live in a world with millions of services and products perfecting what they offer, providing you with options and the ultimate freedom to make choices, or one where a single product/service rules supreme.
I choose freedom.
We, as a modern society, have realised this concept with food, government, entertainment, fashion, writing, religion, but not yet with products and services focused on technology.
We’re trying to find the complete solution to every problem. Why?
If everyone is trying to build the ultimate product, then in theory, everyone but one must lose. A society and culture built on the failure and mistakes of others is not one that can prosper, as it is relies on perfection in the present, an unattainable idea and concept.
True global success comes in the form of a choir – a team. When we diversify our efforts and democratize the process of creation, something beautiful happens – variety and specific, focused perfection.