• Successful Business, Successful Life: ‘KISS’ Principle vs. Never-Ending Complexity

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    Surge Summary: The whiz-kids make things too complicated nowadays. Most people want to be able to operate technology, gadgets, etc. easily and without a lot of complications. Acknowledging that could be a key to establishing a successful business.

    by William Pauwels Sr.

    Perhaps it’s my old age (83) but I’m finding things – like Christmas gifts and business tools – more and more complicated and user unfriendly.

    Thank God the people who are providing us with computers, computerized phones, toys, tools, etc. did not invent the telephone.  We’d still be trying to figure out how to make a call.

    It seems everything now needs its own password, its own codes, its own symbols, its own stack of personal information.  It’s really . . . I mean quite ridiculous!

    I get the feeling that many companies have been overtaken by computer geeks – who keep expanding their company’s computerized capabilities (and their customers’ confusion).  Clearly the geeks want to justify their existence – not by making it easier for customers to do business with them and/or to use their products and services – but rather by demonstrating the wonderful things their growing capabilities can provide.

    However, very few people want these expanded capabilities.  In fact, what most now want is simplicity – ease-of-use – ease-of-understanding.

    Over the years, while managing various product manufacturing companies, I insisted that our employees, salesmen, customer service personnel, technical support persons, product development personnel, etc. – operate via the KISS Principle, i.e., “keep it short and simple.”  No excuses. No exceptions. If it isn’t simple, start over.  And all of my companies were highly successful and customer appreciated.

    Most of my older friends have completely abandoned the computerized product offerings being forced down their consumer throats.  Frankly without professional help, I would have long-ago abandoned what I do.  Pencils and paper, copiers, fax machines, printed business statements, etc. were pretty easy to use via self-intuition.

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    William Pauwels

    William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980.

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