A Less-is-Best Approach to Innovation

In a world characterized by excess, savvy innovators realize that less is actually best. They know that delivering a memorable and meaningful experience hinges on user engagement, which is best achieved through a subtractive approach. Anything excessive, confusing or wasteful is intelligently and cleverly removed, or never added in the first place.

As delightfully outlined in the following article, all products that achieve maximum impact with an elegant, minimalist approach tend to share a few common characteristics.

These include:

Lean features. Here the example is Instagram, where CEO Kevin Systrom pared down the initial version of the popular application to create something people could understand and use inside 30 seconds: snap a photo, choose a filter to transform it into a work of art, and quickly share it through social media.

Loose reins. With the trend moving toward flatter organizational structures, businesses can learn from W. L. Gore, maker of GORE-TEX and other fluoropolymer products, about creating a team-based culture void of job titles.

Quiet minds. Meditation — i.e. a practice that eliminates distraction and clears the mind — is an effective way to enhance self-awareness, focus and attention and to prime one’s brain for achieving creative insights. As the author notes, leaders at GE, 3M, Bloomberg Media, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Salesforce.com all use this practice on a routine basis.

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