simplicity sells

I’ve read this in a few places recently, in particular regards to security software and appliances, but this video of one of the TED talks by David Pogue ties that in with my own feelings of the lashback on computers and electronics and how things are just too damned complicated. Too many buttons, too many clicks, too many features I will never use. For some people they stomach it, for others, they abandon the tech. I know too many people who are abandoning computers and the Internet because of all the complications.
Well, simplicity sells, and the above-linked talk was very well-done. Take out features, don’t cram them in. The company 37signals does this as well, and has been remarkably successful, as have other post-dotcom small software companies, and even large companies like Apple with the ipod. This world needs simplicity and to get back to basics as opposed to bolting on features. Google, while maybe not as simplistic anymore overall, still has the best, most-trusted, and simple web search. Do that one thing and do it well.
I look forward to security software and appliances taking note of this trend and offering just the one or two things instead of trying to package every security measure into one device or app. I think this is short-sighted and just a way to increase their market and market share. Instead of doing things well, overwhelm others by just out-featuring them to get into as many markets at once as possible.
Linux and Unix have done this well for years, decades. Simple programs with few bells and whistles that do their designed task and no more. To do more, you combine them with other equally streamlined tools. cat firewall.log | grep denied. That’s the true beauty in *nix, the command line power and simplicity. Granted, this is a geek’s take on it… 🙂 At least in the *nix world, the techs like me can still milk our creative sides in using these tools together in complex and beautiful ways as opposed to being handed a huge soundboard with 209208 dials and switches to do god-knows-what and produce 45x more reports than I’ll ever use.