In times when opportunists with aspirational ideas believe that spending more always means earning more, the ethic of conservativism, frugal application of financial factors, and maximum exhaustion of efforts are often ignored. The true value of a project is emanated when it is accomplished by using the least of resources.
On that very note, I’d like to pinpoint my 10 commandments that very much highlight why less is moreis the way to go while working on a project.
In the world of consumerism where there’s excess in everything, I have found delight in Minimalism. These are my best learnings which can help any organization to improve its business. It has been extremely helpful to our organization, Xoxoday, a SaaS platform that empowers businesses with employee motivation.
2. Scarcity is the Mother of Invention
Xoxoday has grown from zero to few points with limited resources. We found solutions in every problem, embraced iterations and changes, and tried innovation in every small thing whether it’s lead generation, reducing customer tickets, reducing fixed costs, hiring, and technology. Less is more for us.
3. Breakdown the Scope in Smaller Teams
4. Do just what is Essential
A laser-sharp focus helps in getting high-quality output. Many times at work, we are busy doing the unnecessary and lose focus on what is most important. Organizations should be ruthless in removing anything nefarious whether its design, features, processes, goals, teams, initiatives, etc.
5. Clutter to Clarity
We keep sitting on multiple tasks and goals. While chasing multiple goals, one tends to deliver each with mediocre output. Instead of that, one can choose a few goals at a time, do them very well before moving on to the next.
6. Under-do vs Outdo
The world is highly competitive, and we generally tend to outdo the competition. We outdo them by building more features, hiring more people, raising more funds, expanding more, building more products and so on. However, most of the companies win against competition by doing less. Fewer features have won against more in most places. Less funded companies have done better most of the time than better funded in the same sector. Companies with lesser people have better products than companies with more people. There is enough analysis and data on these points.
Try to do less but do it awesomely well.
7. Don’t try to predict the problems of tomorrow
While building products, it’s important to prioritize features. Many times, we tend to build something which is neither a current problem nor a customer ask. We tend to predict a problem with our own bias without having significant sampling data. This way you might end up doing very wrong prioritization of features. Use user voice methodology effectively in solutioning.
8. Focus on the right customers
Product success depends not only on good team hire but also on good customer hiring. Which customers you choose to work with and which ones you let go is important. While businesses should always endeavor to acquire every customer, no business can satisfy all the customers optimally. Your product will be most relevant for some customers and not so relevant to others.
If there are future product features that suffice the customer needs, you should go ahead with a customer, but if you have to make unsustainable short-term changes in your product for serving a customer, it’s better to stay away. Short term product features are neither good for you nor for the customer in the long run. Every time you agree to a special feature request of a customer, you are adding more complexity for other customers who don’t need that feature.
Every new feature is an additional investment to manage. So, add any new feature only when it’s absolutely required. Saying ‘No’ to some features is better than releasing many poorly thought ‘yes’ features.
9. Ask people what they don’t want
Surveys and feedback on products are very common. Sales teams, product teams, and clients keep asking for “more”. Most of our surveys or discussions with customers are around “What more do you want in the product?”. Just flip this to “What would you want to remove?”. The whole dimension changes and you’ll start thinking more on “less” features. Try doing this in every such conversation and see the difference.
10.You don’t need to complicate as you grow old
This text was written on the notepad, a software that has remained the same over the last 25+ years. Yet, this simple software is heavily used even today as it was used over the years. No enhancements or new features have been added to notepad software over decades. That’s one reason it remained so simple and easy to use. Products of any type whether in software or other industries, don’t need to complicate with time.
Instead, we should try to simplify it with time. It’s the human tendency that with every new year, we think we need to do more on a product and make changes to it. It’s absolutely unnecessary to make changes when it’s working very well and adopted very well by users. It’s perfectly fine to keep the product constant as long as it’s liked and not going towards obsolescence. Overcomplicating products with time generally leads to higher production costs and lower usability leading to revenue losses.
With this year kicking off the new decade, it would make for an astonishing New Year’s Resolution if we could adapt the Less is Morestrategy on the upcoming projects.