A while ago, I read a series of articles addressing the incredible amount of data and information that the human being has produced in the last decade.
We know, for example, that the amount of information that a single human being can acquire in a week nowadays is equivalent to all information acquired during the lifetime of someone who lived in the 17th century. As I have mentioned in my previous articles, the reason for this excess is the increasingly constant technological evolution which we have achieved over the centuries.
“Unlimited” access to information promotes knowledge; on the other hand, excess tends to confusion. Not rarely, when researching a particular topic, interest or need, we get lost and anxious, without knowing where to start given the amount of available data. What information is actually relevant? “Internal” filters are necessary when the chances of facing superficially treated topics are considerable.
However, in this text I want to lead the conversation to the corporate area, because beyond the realm of knowledge, information overload ends up influencing our consumer behavior as well.
Have you ever noticed how a simple experience such as going to the market can be incredibly complex? There are so many brands, sub-brands, product options from the same manufacturer that I often get lost. The situation is virtually as complicated as deciding what investments we should put our money in. Soon we will have to call a consultant to help us in the “difficult” choice of the ideal toothpaste.
Are so many variations of the same product, with essentially the same purposes, really necessary? Obviously you and I both know the answer. However, the turn of a new year has brought me the eagerness of reflection as usual. Thus, somewhat uncomfortable with this reality of excess, I started to think and research about it.
In Zen philosophy, I found something very straightforward, even obvious, that applies perfectly to this problem, emerging as a possible solution. In general, these philosophers say that “simplicity conveys the idea of freedom and brings us back to the essence of life”, ie, to what is really important.
In other words, it is discarding exaggeration and focusing on the essentials. Back to the subject, I believe that a good idea for companies would be changing the destination of their funds into the making of new products. Instead of increasing the options and investing little on each sample, why not reducing the commercialized grid and concentrating the money in a few great products? Why not focusing on quality over quantity?
Following a more sustainable line, the intention is to spend less and produce more. We can find a good example of this concept in the one of most influential art movements called minimalism. Its representative artists followed the precept that “the greatest effect” would only be achieved through simplicity and reduction of elements.
We can say that in the corporate world Apple masters the art of minimalism, or if you prefer, the expression “less is more”. Late Steve Jobs’ company’s products are so beautifully simple and intuitive that even a child can use. The stores of the brand are “clean” (visually speaking) and wide, avoiding that heap of options, bringing the consumer’s attention exactly to a specific product.
Particularly, I am an advocate for such philosophy, whether for work or for life. I am convinced that living for less is actually living for more: more time, more satisfaction, more balance and more joy.