Fast Company on Simple Jason 25 Nov 2005

Fast Company’s The Beauty of Simplicity talks about how companies are beginning to see that “making things simple is the new competitive advantage” (which was the whole thrust of my talk at Web 2.0 — it was even called “Less as a competitive advantage”).

The article mostly focuses its praise on Google, Intuit, Apple, and Philips. It’s great to see these enormous companies putting high value on simplicity, but the real simplicity and less movement is happening way lower down the chain with the smaller companies. Companies of 1 or 3 or 5 or 10 — they’re staying simple on purpose.

The big guys have to force simple. The small guys are simple by default. Staying small is the real competitive advantage. That’s real business intelligence — understanding your advantage and milking it.

The big guys are discovering what the small guys have always known. The small companies leading the way and have been for years. The big guys are following the small guys. The Less movement is bottom up, not top down. There’s a big story here. I wonder which journalist will grab it.