Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bigger and Better?

Everyone's always trying to come up with the next big thing. I find this is true even on a small scale - at home, at work, at OYFP, etc. If only this could be bigger or better or different, I could do XYZ. In that struggle to constantly improve ourselves or our work, we may lose sight of an equally valid and perhaps simpler idea: taking away.

Think about a big idea. Now reduce it. Do you have something useful?

Example: Blogger.com is a huge free blogging interface and host. Simplify the blog to 140 words, and you get Twitter. This is what innovator and Blogger and Twitter founder Evan Williams did... and no one can argue with his success. His favorite question is: "What can we take away to create something new?"

Sculpture carving works the same way - you start with a block of wood or rock, and you take away until you have a lovely figurine.

It takes vision - how do you know what to remove? It takes risk - what if you cut off a crucial part, and you have to start over? It takes a willingness to be a little different - don't build up to be bigger, remove to be better. This theme could certainly be applied to OYFP... and perhaps it's time to consider it.

1 comment:

John Ryan said...

Liked the article, a lot.

And it looks like I did a Twitter with my last post (Not me, Not Now)…only 94 words. And you thought I was being lazy for posting such a short piece… when actually I was being innovative!