Ever felt like life as a child was better because it was simpler? Didn’t need to make too many choices? Minimalism, essentialism, simplicity – there are multiple applications
of the concept of ‘Less is More’. Peter Adeney, Mr. Money Mustache, has a golden rule for minimalism. “If you don’t use it, lose it.” Belongings should be things that we actually like, utilise optimally and that bring some sort of value to life. In her famous Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Marie Kondo talks about possessions as items that help us live a good, comfortable life. If they don’t help you, they would probably find a better purpose in someone else’s life. This approach may seem a little out there, but it makes a lot of sense. Clutter and too much variety create confusion, noise and distraction. Keep what’s needed and free yourself.
Several designers use this idea as a philosophy or inspiration to design things that are simple, yet beautiful. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, an architect in the 1900s used it when talking about the desirability of less visual clutter in homes. It’s wonderful to have options, and you feel like you’re not missing out. On the flip side, too many options and choices often cripple us to the analysis paralysis. The fear of making bad decisions grips us so much that we decide to do nothing in order to stay in the neutral rut. Spending hours on obsessing over different options is another way this goes down. When we stop over-thinking minor decisions, we can start thinking about more crucial things. Isn’t that why we started choosing in the first place?
As much as the world would like to believe, you can’t be great at everything. The book Uncommon Service by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss, talks about how pursuing all-around excellence often leads to averageness. Achieving service excellence requires underperforming on the things your customers value the least, so you can focus and over-deliver on the dimensions they value the most. It is helpful to decide what trade-offs you will make – your strengths, weaknesses - this enables one to channel their time and energy into the right tasks. We need to define areas that we want to be great at and more importantly, define what we don’t want to spend more time on. This piece of advice is what drives me in my business at HomeLane. What we are is great at delivering beautiful homes with great quality, sticking to budget and at committed timelines. I believe in being the best at delivering a finite catalogue - deliver what is promised and nothing less. Would you rather have thousands of irrelevant options or a lower number of relevant options? You can easily eradicate analysis paralysis with an optimal number of relevant options which will serve customers better. There is no value in building average-performing business in multiple cities, when you can do well in a few before you expand. This is the kind of trade-off that will help you bring the best out of your business. Our catalogues are not limited, they are enough as they have been picked basis a thorough research of consumer needs. Needless to say, we change with the dynamic needs of the customer and upgrade our catalogues - but we also remove obsolete options. Minimalism implies effectiveness, which means economies of scale for business. Does this make you feel like a child again?