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Simple Is Hard

No doubt, a few CEO’s I know could read this blog and think I’m writing about them. I’m not, but the fact that several could THINK I am only magnifies the problem.

Here’s a scenario.

A company launches and grows for a while.

After a nice run, growth stalls.

Looking around at other companies, the company decides to launch a new product to compete with another company that seems to be growing quickly.

There is a slight uptick at the launch of the “new” product but growth stalls – AGAIN.

Now, the company has two products that may / may not make sense to offer together.

But, the product is now in the warehouse.

After a little time and frustration, ANOTHER product idea pops up. This is THE product. The one that will push the company “over the top.”

Uptick – stall.

But instead of just stalling, sales actually decline.

The warehouse is filling up.

Here’s the problem. The company described above never truly decided what category they wanted to own. In an effort to make money, they add, and add options.

Confusion and complication causes friction. Friction us unpleasant and causes people to slow down and, often, stop doing anything at all.

Decide who you are what you stand for.

Before you jump from product to product or segment to segment, take some time to truly evaluate and solidify your own beliefs and value.

From there, market research could reveal a space you could own. It’s that “white space” where nobody else is playing.

Then, stick with it.

Often, the products and companies we admire most have found something to do that makes them truly special. We look at them at wonder – “why didn’t I think of that?” Often, it looks simple.

I have a lot of respect for simplicity.


But the effort to simplify is worth it.


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