If your technology solution turns out to be more complicated than the actual problem you’re trying to solve then you’ve probably fallen into the “over-engineering” trap. The temptation to try to be all things to all people, or to cram in as much functionality as possible, can be the death of many technology-based projects.
In the world of innovation, interesting things happen if you train yourself to “think lean”. In the examples below, less is not only more – it’s the secret to success. Google looked at rivals and stripped back their home page, leaving the one vital component – the search box. Blogger, originally a component of a much larger information management platform called Pyra, was spun out after it proved the most useful feature. And Twitter took one small part of Facebook – the status update – and revolutionised how many of us communicate online.
From: Yahoo!’s “all things to all people”
To: Google’s simple search
From: Pyra’s holistic project management platform
(ValleySpeak screenshot indicative only)
To: Blogger’s simple publishing tool
From: Facebook’s rich timeline
To: Twitter’s simple status update
The lesson? Strip back your idea, get to the essence of what it is you’re trying to do, and drop the clutter. Focus is king.