I’ve been reading a lot about simplification recently. About removing stuff and improving products, disrupting markets, and smashing the lazy incumbents. It’s the kind of thing which when you see it, it smacks you in the face and you ask yourself why someone else or you hadn’t done this before.
Some of the great innovations have been about removing steps, making processes easier, and challenging assumptions about that’s the way it needs to be done.
As Evan Williams, founder of Twitter has said, “Everything is obvious once it’s successful. Big wins come when you can spot something before it’s obvious to everyone else.”
The iPhone worked partly because Steve Jobs saw that it was annoying to have to carry a phone and an iPod around. The Apple Watch is kind of in the same vein. I want to track my health and also be in touch with my apps and messages.
Google are simplifying how consumers in the UK and USA buy insurance, open credit cards, and bank accounts by providing these features in a Google search. No more confusing and frustrating comparisons. And possibly no more comparison businesses like iSelect or Finder.
Netflix transformed how we consume movies (particularly for the many Australians with 90210 addresses) by offering a flat fee per month and anything you want. The trip to the video store or expensive Foxtel bill is no longer required.
Yesware is incredible because it recognises that opening or forwarding an email is a signal for sales interest so why not use this data to augment sales and leads data. The process of tracking leads has been dramatically simplified.
Square, the payments app, and Paypal made the process of accepting credit card payments much simpler by removing the Bank, the fees, and the inconvenience from the process.
Simplification works because when something annoying, frustrating, or inefficient is changed peoples lives are made better. Great products improve lives, no matter how simple the change.
Spend a week tracking all the things that frustrate you and what the possible simplification could be. Call it an innovation journal and carry it everywhere so you don’t miss any inspiration.
You will change the world.