For the past 40 years I have searched for simple and parsimonious principles to help individuals create great new businesses, and thus enrich the world and the people involved. In SIMPLIFY, Greg Lockwood and I have come up with a new answer.
Most of the best businesses in the world have simplified a product or service, and therefore a market.
There are two almost opposite ways to simplify:
- Price-simplifying – the route taken by Henry Ford, by McDonald’s, Southwest Airlines, IKEA, Charles Schwab, and Honda – reduces the price and cost of a product by more than half. SIMPLIFY shows how this can be done – there is a common template adopted by all price-simplifiers.
- Proposition-simplifying involves making a product or service a joy to use by making it simpler: more useful, easier to use, and more elegant or beautiful. Companies who have done this brilliantly include Google, Uber, Apple, ARM, Tetra Pak, and The Boston Consulting Group.
SIMPLIFY leads you to decide which simplifying route is better for your firm, and how to do it.
Simplifying is not a magic bullet, nor an infallible formula for success. You must come up with a radical simplifying idea, so simple that the product can become universal. You must redesign the business system and marginalize or exclude rival firms. You must internationalize before anyone else. Simplifying is a creative affair, but also intensely practical. Combining the two is hard.
But simplifying can create enormous new markets. There is no limit to the number of simple universal products that can be imagined and created.
Go forth and Simplify!