I love the Keurig coffee maker. Seriously, if it talked like Siri, I would marry it.
But why? There are lots of coffee makers. I have others sitting in the cupboard. The Keurig is better because it saves time. You dump the water in, feed a K-cup to the disturbing Alien mouth, and by the time you've got the milk and sugar, your coffee is ready.
There are two things at work here. Time and simplicity. You make a product that has both and you've created magic.
Coffee + Time + Simple = Genius
Time isn't just money, it's way more valuable than that. In a recent blog post, Nathan Kontny wrote, "Many businesses create innovation by simply moving time." (He also writes about the Keurig, which is cool and means I'm not crazy.)
Kontny makes the point that the time he would have spent putting a filter in a coffee machine and measuring out the correct number of scoops of loose coffee and all that is now shifted to the Keurig people. They put the right amount of coffee in a tiny plastic bucket that has a filter built in. You're paying for them to save you time, and for many people that trade is totally worth it.
I'm a morning zombie
The second factor is simplicity. How many buttons does an iPhone have? (Okay, that's kind of cheating because the touchscreen can have a whole keyboard, but stay with me.) The Keurig Mini Plus model has one button, labeled "Brew." It also has an "On/Off" button, but it shuts itself off in 90 seconds, so you really only turn it on.
Now Keurig also makes their Vue system where you can control the water pressure, the air flow, the brew strength and 50 other things. I don't want to do all that. I want to press one button and get my coffee.
Why do cops, soldiers and civilians carry Glock pistols? Glocks don't have an external hammer you have to thumb back, or a switch you have to throw to select "Fire." It's a one button system. You pull the trigger, it goes bang. Simple. Perfect for when you're under stress, or you haven't had your coffee.
If you look in the Comments section under the Keurig Mini Plus, the number one favorable factor is "Easy to use." 323 people felt that was the machine's best feature. 217 labeled it "Fast." (229 also found it "Stylish," but since it already saves time and is simple, style is just bonus points.)
Whether you are looking to buy a new product or make a new product, consider 'time' and 'simplicity' in your design.
What product do you use that's simple and saves time? Leave a comment and spread the word.
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