We've Got It Simple
Simplicity. Sorry, Simple. Its just a very easy word. And tantamount to success for startups trying to build something that didn’t exist before.
In a recent piece for the LA Review of Books, Tom Streithorst describes a current era of Post Scarcity Economics in the U.S. - the period saturated with myriad supply and nascent or at least confused demand. As an economics piece, Streithorst goes on to analyze what makes people spend and how the government should act. What I found most compelling however was the psychological dynamic between timid demand and over-supply. What does it tell us about usage, purchase and what products are needed?
If people and firms do face a market of over-supply where everyone offers everything or a slice of what all of their competitors offer, then simple will be a distinguishing stripe for companies that win.
So what is a company with simple? Your idea can be said in two words and your core value is immediately understood: sell shoes, introduce investors, transform insurance. But more than just your mission, simple creates a focus, identity and culture within your company that will allow you to deliver on the simple idea you had.
Do one thing, do it so fucking well that your brand becomes the metonym for your industry, product field, or concept.
This is neither rocket science nor profound but in a world in which people have too many choices and instead of supply, demand becomes the economic determinant of the moment - in consumer tech the focus on # of app users or unique views for example - a company stands out because it solves a known problem or improves lives of consumers or firms and its damn simple to understand.
Simple is grand.