in Business

Why simple sells: The barriers to making a buying decision (Part 1)

Everybody is talking about making simple products these days, but I think a lot of people are forgetting one of the reasons simple sells. The honest answer isn’t that they’re easy to use. I mean, look at us humans, we use Microsoft Windows, Mac’s OSX, and even Microsoft office with great dexterity and those are all complex software solutions.

Frankly, people are able to handle the most complex software. I mean, if we can operate a car, we can easily operate complex software.

So why are simple products so popular these days? Maybe it just might be that simple as an idea, simple as a mantra is selling software.

What’s my take? I think it all comes down to barriers in the buying decision.

Simple sells because when people are looking for a solution they have one thing on their minds. “I want to solve X problem.” and when a simple product solves just that (and not a half dozen issues that are not a problem) it ends up being very easy to make a buying decision.

You could say that the barriers to making a buying decision are low because when a software product solves only one problem there is only one type of buyer.

Let me use an example from sales. And for that, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow… stay tuned.

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  1. That’s what I like about most of the software made for Apple as opposed to Windows software. Feature-light that does one thing really well.

  2. I think you need to distinguish between simple to *operate* vs complex design. Sure cars and operating systems are complex devices, but the human interface is deliberately made as simple as can be and in fact the simpler the better.

    People want results fast and the less time it takes to get up and running the better. This is where simplicity sells best.

  3. I agree with yaro. cars could be so much more complex. what if we as drivers had to control all of the complex interactions that go on inside the car: fuel mixtures, spark plug timing, etc. A car at it’s most basic only has 3 controls: gas, brake and steering. Talk about simple! An x-box controller has more controls than that. Of course car manufacturers and safety regulations add more and more extra controls for safety, comfort, etc.