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less is more except when its less

October 16, 2006

I was thinking of this while reading the latest work happy post. I don't know anything about the company he was reviewing and that's not the point. The point is that he notes the company takes the "now common" less is more approach. I wonder if this concept has now jumped from good idea to even better excuse. The first time I really heard people pushing this in the web 2.0 sense was the 37 signals guys. They seem to do a good job with it. Perhaps something is starting to be lost in the translation?

I keep wondering if so many people have jumped on board now because it's really just become an easy out for developers. "Oh, we're not going to add that feature because we follow the less is more approach. Sorry, we feel it's better to keep things simple for us".

Isn't the real trick not really to keep the software simple, but to make it feel simple? This is obviously much more difficult than an across the board less is more approach. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I've definitely been seeing a lot of pretty lame "less is more" software out there lately. Maybe some of these folks need to focus more on customers needs and a bit less on making their life simple.

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