Positioning

Why less is more.

Written by Provok

Originally published the August 22, 2022.

Updated on November 26, 2022.

4 min read

Less is more... really? Is it bullsh*t?

What does that mean?

Is it excellent advice to do less to get more?

Limiting thought: doing less necessarily yields less

As humans, we have general rules in mind. These are our biases.

Our biases are helpful because they allow us to make quick decisions without spending our lives in context analysis mode.

The problem is that sometimes our biases play tricks on us.

For most people doing fewer means having less. As if doing more means getting more.

That's why we spend more time in the office. It's because we feel like if we work more today, we'll get more done.

And yet, I promise you that by working sixteen hours a day, I will have done less than two eight-hour days.

This is also why the 80/20 rule is so popular because it avoids the bias that says:

Doing less necessarily yields less.

And yes, thanks to Pareto, we know that 80% of the results are often produced by 20% of the efforts... in other words, less is more.

The problem is that this rule works well in situations where we are in control... situations where we see the outcome in our heads.

But for other situations, it's a bit more complicated. In practice, it's often hard to imagine that we'll have even more clients if we find an even smaller niche.

We tell ourselves, "there are fewer people in there, so I will have fewer clients." It is in this kind of situation that our brain plays tricks on us!

Less is more = Focus

Doing less allows us to do better. By choosing focus over quantity, we save time.

If we don't waste time, we save time... we often talk about time as if we were incurring a debt to ourselves. To avoid time debt, we must focus on what matters, avoid dispersing our efforts and be intelligently lazy.

By making this effort, the time saved will be reinvested in solving a specific problem. We bring much more value to a particular subject than little value to many issues.

This is where something strange happens! Let's take three examples to understand.

Let's assume that I have 100-time points to distribute. Each time point represents the same amount of effort. These 100-time points will allow me to collect result points.

What happens when you disperse

Topic 1: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results.

Subject 2: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

Subject 3: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

Subject 4: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

Subject 5: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

Subject 6: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

Subject 7: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

Subject 8: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

Subject 9: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

Subject 10: 10% effort ➡️ 0-40% results

In the best case, all topics are advanced to 40%. More is needed to say that a subject is being addressed and producing real value.

We're doing a lot, but we're not making any progress. Concerning our 100% efforts, the results produced are not visible enough. We have a feeling of injustice. It's depressing.

What happens when we try to achieve perfection

Subject 1: 100% effort ➡️ 100% results

Subject 2: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

Subject 3: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

Subject 4: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

Subject 5: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

Subject 6: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

Subject 7: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

Subject 8: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

Subject 9: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

Subject 10: 0% effort ➡️ 0% results

One topic is 100% complete. We celebrate... then we remember that we still have to complete all the other issues. We would need 1000% effort to distribute to finish everything! That's burnout.

LESS IS MORE

Topic 1: 20% effort ➡️ 80% results

Subject 2: 20% effort ➡️ 80% results

Subject 3: 20% effort ➡️ 80% results

Subject 4: 20% effort ➡️ 80% results

Subject 5: 20% effort ➡️ 80% results

We consciously decide not to address 5 of the 10 topics for strategic reasons. With 100% effort provided, we have completed 80% of our overall scope. The MVP is ready (yes, the MVP principle is based on the Less is More philosophy 😱).

NICHE DOWN

Based on the above phenomenon, we can maximize our efforts in the market.

  • By reducing the number of problems we address, we can better tackle the ones we have chosen to resolve.

  • The problems we choose are the ones that best resonate with the brand's values.

  • We become experts on a particular subject(s) rather than generalists in a field.

  • Our market is smaller since we are targeting a specific segment, but that segment sees genuine value in what we do for them.

  • Before, many considered us but were not convinced. Today, fans follow us because we help them daily and in-depth.

  • More people are coming to us. More people see the value in what we do. More people are loyal to us.

CONCLUSION: LESS IS MORE!

It may sound super counterintuitive, but less can be more.

It is by going deep that real connections are made between humans. That's when we can bring the most value to our fellow man.

In business language: that's how you double your ROI, become the leader in your market, and can then afford to attack other needs once you are well established in the first one.

Well, I hope my slammed math made you smile and helped you better allocate your efforts!

✌️

Provok.