Top of Mind Thursday – March 14, 2024: Overcomplication

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I’m in the middle of a big remodeling project which involves purchasing new appliances.

It used to be if you needed a washer and dryer, or a refrigerator, or a dishwasher, you had a few different options to choose from. Perhaps you could get extra settings for very dirty dishes, an ice maker for the fridge, or a delicate setting on the washer.

Now, not only can you get a myriad of features, but almost every manufacturer offers the ability to include Wifi with their equipment. I even was shown a kitchen faucet that responded to voice commands.

Me: Why do I need to talk to my faucet?

Sales Rep: You can tell it to turn on and off.

Me: Can’t I just turn it on and off myself?

Sales Rep: Yes, but you can also tell it to fill up a 5 gallon pot and it will know how much water to put in.

Me: I don’t even know the gallon size of any of my pots. I’d have to figure that out. By the time I did that, I could have turned on the water, filled the pot, and turned it off.

Then there’s the dryer with Wifi. . .

Me: Why do I need Wifi in my dryer?

Sales Rep: Well, some people like it.

Me: Will it take my wet clothes from the washer and put them in the dryer?

Sales Rep: Umm, no.

Me: Will it fold the clothes once they’re done?

Sales Rep: Nope.

Me: Well, then why do I need Wifi?

Sales Rep: It will notify you when the clothes are dry.

Me: Doesn’t the buzzer on the non-Wifi dryer do that for $200 less?

Sales Rep: Umm, yes.

There are times when technology really improves our lives. Then there are times when we take something simple and over-complicate it just because we can.

Are you offering your customers real value? Or, are you actually making their lives more complicated? Wait, you can get Wifi with that.

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