The Hidden Cost of Oversimplification

It’s our nature to seek simple explanations. I prefer to find causal connections between just two things, but most everything is exponentially more complicated. We live in a complicated world, so simplicity is welcome. But oversimplification could have a terrible impact on a business.

In the earliest days of a business, there’s a need to be focused with unshaking dedication on just a few things. There aren’t many resources in a business early on – people, money, time – so the activities executed and resources expended had better be good.

Extreme focus has a negative effect if the right constraints aren’t considered. If run a sandwich shop, your goal can’t be “make the best sandwich on Earth.” It’s a worthy goal and I’d love to taste the resulting sandwich, but business isn’t about “the best.” It’s about creating something that people want at a price they’re willing to pay, and delivering in a way they want to consume it. Just three words: product, price, delivery.

While it’s tempting to oversimplify and set lofty goals like “make the best” or “deliver the best results,” they can’t be singular goals because there’s no business without price or delivery.