Features stuffed inside features is just what the Army Knife, fully loaded car and buffet restaurants have all been able to successfully offer. Yet, for most of the time and for most of us; simple works best.
Even as we get busier and are offered fancier gadgets, tricksy cars and order complex espresso drinks we still choose things like: flip flops, macaroni & cheese, post-it notes, whiteboards, stay-cations and duct tape.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993
Working on the front line for startups I always hear “We need X, and Y feature”. Customers want to see more, they want to hear bells and honk horns. They want features that they think will make their lives easier. In some cases, their insight is the guiding light to making or breaking the product and does help their business. Other times it is a matter of teaching them how a simple tool is powerful, and the value in simple vs every feature under the sun.
A few of my favorite simple things:
Even while spending weeks in the Alpine Wilderness, I never doubted my trusty spoon. Under my social media presence is a true wilderness girl that loves packing up a couple pairs of clothes, hopping on a horse and hitting the trails. Cooking in a cast iron Dutch oven each evening I never pulled out my army knife and stirred the stew. It was my simple, easy to clean, stir and eat spoon that kept me content for my offline excursions.
When I begin growing gray hair I want to open a simple lunch café near a river. Serving the basics, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, iced tea and garden salads all made from ingredients grown locally or right on the café property. I want this to be an inexpensive, feel good sort of place for patrons to have exceptionally good tasting and good memory food. Simple, tasty and affordable.
Entertaining twenty plus guests can be pulled off with a simple recipe: Marshmallows roasted on a stick then squished onto a piece of chocolate in-between two graham crackers.
I tend the fire keeping the whole circle of guests happily entertained talking, and roasting. In the time we have been hosting campfires people have found new customers, new workout buddies even new jobs by attending our smore roasting low-key evenings.
This simple evening event has become a friend and family favorite eliminating my assumption that more stuff, and entertainment made a better party. Smores voted #1 Thompson event 3 years running.
A simple prompt of “What are you doing?” in 140 characters is what Twitter asked. Me, I got a whole new life chapter facilitated by this simple social media platform. While some begged, and pleaded for more features Twitter was able to satisfy 150 million users and growing to connect, share and engage.
So why is someone who loves social media, and marketing talking about simple? Well, it’s simple. [ha ha] There is always a push for more, better, faster, shinier and more attention grabbing. Yet, I think deep down we appreciate simple more than we like to admit. We enjoy the spoon, our favorite basic and easy to make foods, easy non-stress ways to gather people we love, and we want to connect with people we don’t know.
Celebrate the simple.
You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need. ~Vernon Howard