KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid – is easier said than done. It is ironical that to keep something simple is not that simple to do. Though KISS is a software development principle which states that design simplicity should be a key goal and unnecessary complexity should be avoided, it can pretty much be applied to any business in almost any field.
What comes in way of KISS? I think it is the urge to do it all. We want to do everything and serve everyone. We don’t want to miss a single customer. We keep adding features till our product or service is complex enough to need a simple list of instructions to explain how to traverse through the maze, and often times in the process throw simplicity out of the door.
I believe checkbox features play an equally significant role in killing simplicity. These are the features you got to have to make sure you match your offering with your competitors’. This is something like a necessary evil to retain and attract customers, but the way we do it sometimes kills the simplicity of the offering.
Another thing that prevents from keeping something simple is the notion of value that thing provides. A general understanding is that the amount of sophistication is directly proportional to the amount you can charge for it. We embrace sophistication. Marketers love the idea of sophistication. Well if something is this simple, why do you expect me to pay so much for it? So we take the easy route, make it look more complex than it’s got to be and attain the goal.
The list of reasons and excuses can go on and on. In a nutshell, KISS is easier said than done!