We have a tendency to look at output or capacity to determine what our businesses or our products are good at doing. It is challenging to differentiate when most products have similar outputs, contents etc.

We tend to address this with the ‘bells and whistles’. Throw in the extra this and the complementary that. It drives up costs, not just for the products but also the operations that have to manage all this non-core value add tinkering.

Sometimes, your product is distinguished by what it does not have. By not having it, your price goes up. Think about the natural running movement in shoes or the fact that old 4×4’s are still preferred in Africa backcountry because they do not have complicated electronics.

Simplicity for your customer is the ultimate goal. It’s difficult to achieve because we don’t know what to take away.

This begs the question: Do we really know our customers?

Michael Weidemann

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