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Reduce Product Bloat!

About 4 years ago the Netbook came onto the scene ... it was a very light laptop computer with minimal power and stripped down to basics, and offered at a very low price. In 2009 Netbooks are likely to capture 14% of the laptop market.

About four or five years ago BMW introduced the "1" series into its lineup. Same German engineering, you can even get the same engines as the bigger vehicles but a cheaper vehicle with perhaps a few less bells and whistles than its larger cousins.

I was reading a McKinsey report (Consumer electronics gets back to basics) which suggests that 60% of consumers are more interested in "core benefits" and attractive prices, than in "bells and whistles". Count me in! Most people only use a fraction of the features available in the products that they buy ... and yet for years consumer electronics companies have been competing based on the latest greatest technological advances.

One of the success stories they talked about was the Flip video camera which has captured 14% of the US market in just two years, and is only second to Sony which has dominated that market.

So .. I got to thinking about other things that could benefit from being "dumbed down" with a more attractive price attached.

Software ... operating systems, browsers, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software etc. I know there are options out there ... but business friendly solutions at a better price point would be nice.

Audio systems?
Video systems?
Air travel?

What else could take out some bloat and offer a more attractive price?

Perhaps service industries like ours can do some of that ... in our industry we have already seen changes that affect service levels and quality but reduce cost ... is that what clients want, because at the end of the day we are here to serve our clients?

Could the legal system be dumbed down?
Could the tax system be dumbed down?
Could the healthcare system be dumbed down?

If we did that ... would they be better?

I guess dumber can actually be better ... but there is probably a line there somewhere!