So now that we know KISS is easier said than done, it’s time to take a stab at the more important question: how to strike the appropriate level of simplicity? I believe there are two ways to get it right to a large extent. First is by creating a facade. A lot of simplicity can be obtained by creating a mask to hide the details. A customer does not need to deal with the inner functioning of your system. There is a big difference between knowing the inner functioning exists and dealing with it. Driver of a BMW knows that a great deal of engineering excellence goes in developing that engine for the car, but need not have to deal with it. Knowing that makes them pay for it, and not dealing with that makes it easier for them to use it. Similarly, if you are dealing with marketers in search of sophistication, you need to make sure you explain the system and the wealth of engineering sophistication working behind it, and as a special treat to them, they have got a simple personalized interface to deal with it.
This brings us to the second point – personalization. Having personalization as a required feature in your product or service can make even a highly complex product get the traits of simplicity. You want to serve every customer out there and extend the reach of your product. But every customer does not want everything you have to offer. The customer should know that you have all the check-boxes checked when they are choosing between offerings, but they do have a specific set of requirements that need to be fulfilled at this time. Cater your product to meet those needs. Think of Amazon as an example. Amazon has more than 50 stores selling things varying from books and electronics to bags and shoes. But they personalize the website with focus and recommendations based on your needs and past shopping experience. In a very similar fashion, you got to personalize your offering to meet the needs of the customers and make it easier for them to discover the supplemental offerings if they ever have a need for it.