I had a great conversation wtih a friend of mine yesterday about the latest release of his product. He had mentioned that one of my clips from the Economist (see below) on Evan Williams from Blogger and Twitter fame spurred some lively debate at his company. The key thought from Evan is rather than worry about adding another feature or function, ask yourself what can be taken away to create something new.” This is a central idea and one that reminds of me the KISS method of writing that my high school english teacher taught me. When in doubt about your work revert to the KISS method – KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Too often we drink our own Kool-Aid and don’t ask ourselves the tough questions about ourselves or our product. We also believe that having another bell or whistle on our product will be the next big thing rather than asking ourself the opposite question-will it really be the next big thing if we have less to offer than more? As you know from my other posts, if you are developing any product or service keeping it incredibly easy to use is a surefire way to success.
Keep reading this clip and article for more on Evan’s thoughts – focusing on simplicity and radical constraints
The irony of trying to plan accidents, and orchestrate their frequent occurrence, is not lost on Mr Williams. So he tries mental tricks. One is to ask “what can we take away to create something new?” A decade ago, you could have started with Yahoo! and taken away all the clutter around the search box to get Google. When he took Blogger and took away everything except one 140-character line, he had Twitter. Radical constraints, he believes, can lead to breakthroughs in simplicity and entirely new things.