I came across the following article, which I found very interesting.
Essentially the author is saying that consumers will always take a complicated product over a simple one because complexity is a sign of superiority, features and desirability. I can understand that. Until Apple came along with its one-button gadgets I can remember products acquiring knobs, dials and buttons all over the place with each new “upgrade”. Just look at the evolution of the TV remote control as an example. I have no idea what 75% of mine does! The author above says why have a toaster that just toasts when you can have one with motor-driven baskets and LCD displays? Hmm…I’ve never had one of those, but I have had a kettle with colour-changing LEDs and a “keep warm” setting, both of which stopped working and it eventually refused to boil. My new one has one button and it boils water – genius!
I think this is what Einstein meant when he spoke of courage in his quote in my opening post (“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a lot of courage and a touch of genius to move in the opposite direction”). A business that offers a simpler looking product, even if it is cutting edge technology, is risking poor sales. A consumer who chooses the product that executes their needs with a minimum of fuss is never going to keep up with the Jones’s with their spaceship control panels and flashing lights. Courage indeed….it’s ok though, I’m feeling brave!