About 7 months ago I was enjoying the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art here in KC. As we marveled at the various works of art, I often found myself exclaiming at how easy modern artists have it. One of the people I was with quoted the following mathematical equation:
Modern Art = I could have done that + Yeah, but you didn’t
I laughed (probably a little too hard for a museum) but that statement really stuck with me…I find it translates well into my world of product development/marketing.
Modern Art Amazing products
Most product success stories have a similar impact to that of a really great piece of modern art. It’s obvious when you lay your eyes on it but like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
I could have done that Simplicity
Modern art is typically made from stuff that’s extremely accessible to the average person. More often than not, it is SO simple that it can be frustrating. Over-thinking a solution will lead to something so complex that no one wants to bother learning about your product…or worse…they won’t consider using it.
Focus on the problem that needs to be solved, look for new ways of solving the problem with existing resources…. Step away for a little perspective from someone closer to the problem than you (i.e. a sales rep or a customer) or further away (i.e. children, your parents or a spouse).
Yeah, but you didn’t Execution
THIS is the most important factor… Walk through a modern art museum and contemplate what sets you apart from the artist who made money selling THIS. S/he went out and created something. Coming up with a simple solution to a real problem can be difficult, but it’s all wasted if you don’t execute on it.
So the new equation for success in the product space? Focus on solving a real problem and take a page from modern art: