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Not Re-engineering but Over-engineering

Not Re-engineering but Over-engineering

We tend to “over-engineer” everything. I understand three redundant systems on an aircraft, and anti-lock brakes on a car. I understand child-proof caps, but I don’t understand not having an option to avoid them when an adult needs a Tylenol at 2 am and can’t even open the container.

My cars not only have identical controls (e.g., lights, radio) in different places, they have features I don’t need and would never use. I find cruise control boring and even dangerous, and I haven’t used it once in over 25 years. The owner’s manuals in my cars require two people to lift, and their categories make no sense in many cases (“for ‘manual door locking’ see ‘interior security'”). My phones, calculators, TV remotes, and so forth have options that are useless to me, yet they take up pages of instructions that make what I do need harder to find.

Why can’t we customize our technological interfaces and possess what we need, not what someone else needs, and not what the manufacturer says we need in order to raise the price of the product? I have eight settings I can use to read a book on my iPad. Funny, because when I read a hard copy book on the beach I only need to turn one page at a time.

There was an exclusive restaurant in New York owned by a famous chef and if offered a choice of four steak knives and a choice of eight pens to choose from to eat your food and to sign your bill. It went out of business.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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