Simplicity = Relevance = $$$ (Great products reduce the overload of choice)

March 27, 2007 9:22 pm 0 comments

Share this Article


All products and businesses serve people. Successful products and businesses create relevance for the people they serve.

I’ve often said that you know you have created relevance when your customer cannot sleep after hearing or reading about your product or service — the impact on his or her life is too important for that person to ignore, because of how relevant the offering is.

One of the easiest and best way of creating this relevance to help reduce the confusion in a person’s massively overloaded lives.

Today, people are massively overloaded — with information, with news, with ads (Aur Sunao anyone!?), and with options! Just remove those nuisances, and you’re relevant to someone!

Here is a great way, then, of identifying successful product opportunities:

1- Recognizing the said overload is simple enough — how many times can each of us tolerate the Aur Sunao ad before adding a todo list item that says “Switch cellphone carriers away from Mobilink — tell friends to do the same”

2- Reducing the said overload is simple enough as well — just remove the pains!

3- Launch, highlight, and trumpet your simplicity.

The first law of media states that if you reduce the total set of media, the attention to any specific media would increase — from competitive economics it implicitly says that the fewer choices of media will also be higher quality choices, and thus there will be a high probability that they will be relevant to the segment at large.

This is a fairly common approach of creating relevance through simplicity. One way of controlling the scope — and hence quality — of media presented is by creating niche-content, such as AAG TV.

This is the approach used to simplify the overload of news and media.

But what about the overload of Choice?!

Take a look at your desktops after a few months of use, and if you’re like me they will look like a war zone. Take a look at many plugin-enabled software products (such as Firefox or MS Word) with all of their options open (a problem called Feature Creep — see the Wikipedia entry on it).

Beyond software, look at Starbucks — which now boasts over 35 different ways of getting coffee! Or, perhaps, even down to Subway, with a lengthy exam to go through to make your sub.

Finally, take a look at ANY remote control being manufactured today, and try not to wonder why God decided to put you through that experience.

We live with WAY too many options, and this can more than overwhelm the typical person. Honestly, the choices we struggle through in day-to-day life makes the Office Clippy look like a refined gentleman in comparison.

The excessive options stop us from doing what we actually set out to do, and constantly give us moments to think and measure options and make decisions. Anyone, then, who can help us sift through the options and can allow us to actually do what it was that we wanted to do, will create successful products, and if nothing else allows you to build a successful niche set of customers.


– Quiznos Subs VS Subway — If I’m going in to have a sandwich, dont put me through an exam that makes me lose my appetite — Quiznos menu structure is a clear winner.

– ANY TV remote control VS the Apple TV Remote — This is even on the CDF Engineering test for all applicants — a 6 button remote can do everything a 50 button one can, AND looks nicer too

– ANY CRM software VS 37Signal’s HighRise — When all we want to do is keep track of our company’s interactions with our customers, why have the sales team spend more than half the day filling up forms?

– MS Project Server + MS Sharepoint Server + MS Project Client VS BaseCamp or GoPlan — Ugh… dont even get me started on Project server series…

So… short answer to a long answer to a short question: Simplicity = Relevance = $$$

Facebook comments:

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Events General Mobile Apps Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    First we had Angry Imran which brought smiles and some short lived fun for us during the election campaign. Then came Gullu Butt following the incident of Model Town Lahore, which stayed on top of charts (Pakistan play store) for quite some while. Also Gullu Butt made an update with having the famous “Aam Khaiyga” quote form Aamir Liaqat in which a character resembling Aamir Liaqt throws mangoes and the Gullu Butt character tries to catch them. Gullu butt currently has more than 100,000 Installs

    And now during this extremely politically tense situation which had the whole nation on its toes on 14th August we have another app continuing the …

    Read more →
  • Announcements Featured Startup General aims to help student make better decision regarding their future. aims to help student make better decision regarding their future. aims to solve an age old problem for our students, where to go next?

    If you have just completed your primary school which college to pick, if you have completed your college which university to pick. There has always been lack of information or rather consolidated information regarding these questions. The best source till now has always been relatives and friends (mostly of your parents). So some uncle did CA and made a good living you should talk to him and decide, or daughter of my sister completed her medical and is practicing follow that career.

    The fact that online presence of our existing universities are limited and not …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Whoa!! this was quick so Eccentia technologies launched an app a few days ago called “Ajj Kia Pakaen” or what to cook today and today it has reached the top of charts for Pakistani Stores on iTunes and google play store.

    “Ajj Kia Pakaen” is the most common question asked at every house hold in the morning. The ladies of the family have a hard time deciding what to cook for the day. The app has a fun interface and is simple to use, you fire it up, and it gives you an option of what to cook for the day, if you like the option you can check the …

    Read more →
  • Coffee Session General Marketing/Adv Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

    Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan


    Until a few years back we used to have closed groups and forums, which gathered the like minded people and anyone targeting the online audience would tap into that forum and market his/her services. So PakGamers , PakPassion initially even PakWheels used to be driven by members talking about what they loved, people used to create marketing and sales opportunities from within those discussions (so you could get a good router cheap or a gaming PC etc).
    The advent of facebook changed all that, most of the forum goers moved to the new social media. It also made a very attractive market place for some one who does not …

    Read more →
  • General Getting back

    Getting back

    I  have been out of blogging for a long long long time, a lot of things happening on personal front (including a little startup I have ben doing my self). However during my absence I met a lot of people who had followed GreenWhite at its peak, read the articles regularly.

    I had hope there would be some one else who would come ahead and cover everything going on and around us in the local tech world. There are some guys doing a great job, but for some reason I still could not find one source where I can go and read about everything, so my routine usually is to …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Software & I.T. GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniITeam has successfully launched an official app for PakistanIdol. This is one of the first collaboration between a reality game show and a local app development company. I am sure a lot more would follow. Previously we have seen seenreport becoming the basis of mostly all channels citizen reporting system (Like Geo Dost). This is a healthy sign and with the advent of 3G round the corner it should become a business generator for our local firms.

    App allows you to follow the contestants that you like, promote them, comment on live feedback on an episode. It offers official content from the show since it is developed with partnership with …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls, one of the leading Pakistani IT companies, has recently added another feather to its cap. This time, in partnership with National Geographic, 10Pearls has released the new and improved GeoBee Challenge App – an interactive app to challenge and grow the geographic knowledge of the users.

    Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The competition is designed to encourage geography in the classroom, ignite student interest in the world around them, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    It’s heartening to see that Pakistani IT companies have now started to diversify themselves into non traditional areas, and are competing with global players in areas such as gaming. We have received information that 10Pearls, one of the leading  mobile and enterprise web development services companies in Pakistan, has spun-off a separate entity focused solely on developing and publishing casual mobile games.  The new entity, Game Plan8, will focus on creating 2D and 3D games for the iOS, Google Android, Kindle, Facebook and other platforms. Details can be seen on the company’s official press release at


    Read more →
  • General Telecom CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    If only were there two things when it comes to the law, firstly the fear of breaking it and by passing the legal authority, and secondly, implementation of the law given full dedication, there would have been less competency and dishonesty in business and society. However, keeping good faith, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has put forward “Deceptive Marketing Guidelines” which will maintain the Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. In order to enforce this part of the law and stop anti-competitive conduct on part of the telecom companies in advertising, the guidelines have been shared with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and other concerned telecommunication sector members, in …

    Read more →