How to Create a More Perfect Union Between Simplicity and Business

Nothing worthwhile comes easy -- not even simplicity.

Several years ago when we spoke of creating a strategic advantage to master our competitors and our own sensibilities it seemingly required massive disruption underpinned by countless hours in a war room, debating what fanciful features could woo customers and stump competition.

Today, that has changed.

In order to stay competitive you must do something even more tasking – make it simple.

Simplicity, an industry buzz word adopted by tech leaders and main stream business, aims to strengthen your position in market. But, I’ve found that nothing worthwhile comes easy — not even simplicity.

The Art and Difficulty of Simplicity

By definition, simplicity is:

1. freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts.
2. absence of pretentiousness or ornament
3. directness of expressions

“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. It’s about making something easier to understand,” according to Steven Bradley of Vanseo Design.

“Simplicity is getting at the core of something and understanding what that thing truly is and then making every part consistent with the core. We know simple when we see it, when we touch it, when we use it. And one thing we quickly learn is simplicity is difficult to achieve.”

Small businesses know best, how simplicity can be particularly challenging. Not due to a lack of innovation or sheer will power, but more often than not, simplicity is tough to tackle when you aren’t really sure “what your core is.”

Because the truth is, most companies become something very different from where they began. An identity crisis that all share. For example,

1. Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate holding company stewarded by Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, was originally established back in 1839 as the Valley Falls Company, a textile manufacturer.
2. In 1969, The Gap was founded in San Francisco as a record store that also happened to sell jeans.
3. “In 2004, Flickr started as a chat room with real-time photo sharing for the web-based multiplayer game, Game Neverending. Soon thereafter, they shelved Game Neverending, expanded the uploading and filing of photos, and buried the chat room.”


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