It seems that almost every professional in the online industry that I chat with is telling me how 2007 is the busiest year that they've had. Do you feel the same?
What we want is stuff that offers order in the midst of chaos, stuff that makes our lives simpler. Not more irrelevant features, just a few that help us do what we do better.
I'm inspired by what the guys at 37signals
are doing with their software. They have reduced the number of options we have in their programmes, but they've made sure that what is there works well. Apple computers are the same.
I've had this experience with giving lectures and talks: It seems that the less ideas that I try to cram into one presentation, the more enthusiastic the response I get. The corollary to that was proved to me by the negative response I had last-week when I did a presentation jam-packed with ideas. I thought I was adding more value by fitting 5 big ideas into my 3hour presentation, but in-fact it reduced the effectiveness of the talk. The class were resentful that I made them confused. Not good. Far better to present just one idea, and make them feel smart for learning it.
One of the reasons that Google has done so well as a search engine is because of their bare-basic home-page. Its predecessors like Yahoo used to assault the senses with too many options on their search page, and some people felt confused. Google left no option other than to type in the search box, and so people felt smarter.
When it comes to your business, can you help customers make sense of your offer in the most simple possible terms? They won't buy what they don't understand. To quote Seth Godin:
If you canâ€™t state your position in eight words or less, you donâ€™t have a position.â€�
My parting thought on this subject: If you can make people's lives simpler, and if you can make people feel smarter by reducing complexity, then you've completed one of marketing's most important tasks.