The Importance of Simplicity

In: Business & Marketing, Photographers

My friend Kevin Swan posted some great thoughts on the idea of simplicity a while back, and I thought it was worth reposting here and sharing (pay attention to the bolded portions).

This is a great reminder about the importance of simplicity. What do you think?

“When Apple announced the iPad, critics were quick to point out what it doesn’t have and what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t multitask, it has no camera, it has no ports, it doesn’t support Flash.

“It’s just a big iPod Touch!” they cried.

And yet, they sold nearly 1 million of them in the first week.


It’s even stranger if you consider that tablet PCs have been around for a decade, but no one cared.

In 2000, Bill Gates held one up at CES and told the world, “this is the future of computing.”

You may be interested to know that Apple doesn’t do focus groups; they simply build what they find beautiful and pleasing – blending technology and art.

Jobs is famous for pushing to simplify devices that are already very simple.

Most of the recent innovations, from the iMac to the iPod, to the iPhone and the iPad, are all the designs of one guy, Jonathan Ive.

For those of you racking your brains about how to manage your pricing, what bells and whistles to include, and what your competitors are doing, maybe it’s time to take a play from Apple’s book.

I believe the reason Apple sells is that they have created a business that isn’t about technology or features, but is about relationship and lifestyle.

People respond to Apple’s products because they’ve been designed with and for personalities.

Yes, that means Apple may turn off many feature-obsessed techies; but they’re not trying to please everyone. 

If you’re trying to be appealing to everyone in your photography business, you will be attractive to no one.

Could Apple have built a camera or flash or USB or DVD or whatever into the iPad? Absolutely.

The fact that they didn’t is something to think on.

Apple appeals to artists, to creatives, to people who love beauty in design.

They have built their unparalleled marketing and branding around artists–movie makers, painters, musicians, writers, photographers.

They have purposefully excluded entire segments of the population (the techies). Their position for years was, “the computer for the rest of us.”

Who are you appealing to? Who are you excluding?

If you can’t answer BOTH questions, you may need to think a bit more about your business.”



What this post communicates to me is two things:

  1. The importance of eliminating confusion by getting rid of the unnecessary bells and whistles in our offerings
  2. The idea that we’re not designing our businesses for everyone, but rather a very specific subset of the population (that very specific subset of the population being our ideal clients).

(I’d love your thoughts – leave a comment in our Facebook Group! Haven’t joined our Facebook Group yet? Request to be added!)



In: Business & Marketing, Photographers