Spoiler Alert: “Easy” Beats “More”
You add features and superior functionality to the product. I’ll make it easier to use and more convenient. Let’s see who wins.
In his book on disruption, The Innovator’s Dilemna, Clayton Christensen makes the case that simplicity and convenience drive more success and growth than adding features or superior functionality.
A classic example is Quicken, which is the market leader because customers find it so easy to use. You buy it, boot it up, and use it. Quicken says that most people don’t ever read the instruction manual.
Rather than ask customers in focus groups what they want from the product, Quicken watches their customers actually use the product.
Wherever the product is confusing or difficult to use, that’s where they improve. All of their improvement is directed towards developing simplicity, ease of use, and convenience.
The appeal of Apple products has always been simplicity, not having the most features. An early review of the original iPod said that it wouldn’t succeed, because it’s competition had lots more features and functionality. All the iPod would do is play music.
Exactly. That was the point and that was its competitive advantage. Simple. Easy.
Don’t do more. Don’t add features. Strive to have your customers do less. Make it easier to do business with you.