Signs that your product is too complex

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Frying pan

A sign that your product or service is too complex? When you have Certified Professional accreditations for implementation and operation. Things you don’t see in the marketplace much:

  • Certified iPad Configuration Specialist
  • Certified iPhone Application Installer
  • Certified Frying Pan Operator
  • Certified Leaf Raking Professional
  • Certified Fast Food Purchasing Expert

(I’m sure there are a handful of people making these bold, if useless, claims, but there’s not a giant market for any of these)

Ask yourself this simple question: if you disposed of the documentation for your product, would your customers be able to use it and get 80-90% of the benefit from it? Or would its usefulness decline into the 5% range without extensive documentation and training? For example, you can hand an iPad to a child and they intuitively understand what to do with it in seconds. No manual. No deep instructions. No professional certification. A 7 year old can install apps and play games with the best of adults. Can the same be said for your product out of the box?

Is there a place for professional certification, for extensive documentation, for detailed instruction? Of course. But that should be at the top 10-20% performance range, as is the case in most things in life. Most owners of frying pans don’t need a manual or a course to make dinner. Some owners of frying pans will go through extensive training, culinary school, and apprenticeship in order to become master chefs. However, 99% of frying pan owners neither need or want that maximum level of performance from their frying pans.

Simple is very, very hard – but if you can master it, your products and services will be legendary, not to mention profitable.

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