Hold the anchovies, please: Adobe Photoshop Elements and 37signals
February 1, 2009
Simplicity sells. Make your customers more comfortable by simplifying your products.
Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the United States. So why is it that pepperoni seems to be the last priority at pizza buffets? You wait for the restaurant staff to bring the next pizza only to see them bringing out yet another pineapple, ham and anchovies pizza to sit beside the one that's already out there (and only missing one piece). I'm compelled to wonder whether this is a ploy by the pizza franchises. Knowing that pepperoni pizza is the most popular, they limit the availability of this resource so they make fewer pizzas for the same return. I would do it the other way around – make more pepperoni pizzas than any other variety. The available selection should be proportional to the demand. Pepperoni pizza lovers will not always eat other types of pizza, but people who like the works will settle for pepperoni. If 8 out of 10 customers prefer pepperoni pizza, they'd be better off to cater to that market segment. It's all about customers satisfaction, perception and experience. Business software is the same way. Software developers pack so many features into software that the average user can get lost in it all. They spend more time reading the manual than using the software and productivity is sacrificed, not increased. I want business software that is simple, intuitive and to the point. I want to open it up and get started saving time and money without having to read the user's manual. Some companies such as Adobe and 37signals have recognized the need for power and simplicity. Adobe has Photoshop Elements, a scaled-down but every-bit-as-powerful program version of Photoshop. While 37signals has founded its business on the premise of simplicity with business software for customer relations management, scheduling, group chat and project management. From the 37signals website: “Our products do less than the competition — intentionally.” More doesn't always mean better. When it comes to satisfying the majority of customers, you have to consider what they really want – and it's usually best-solved with a simple, easy-to-use and enjoyable recipe. Hold the anchovies. How can you simplify your products and services for your customers?