why do we make things more complicated?

I cannot remember how long ago I purchased the above watch (from the same company who provided the picture I believe) but I knew at the time it was a handsome looking time piece and I wanted to have it.

Here’s a quick list of what the Citizen Stars and Stripes Navisail – White Face / Stainless Band does:

-Yacht Timer with Autostart Chrono
-Auto-Repeat Yacht Race Timer
-Time and Calendar in 21 World Time Zones
-Retractable Hands for Display Visibility
-Help Display of Button Functions
-One-Touch Interchangeable Analog/Digital Times
-Two World-Time Alarms
-1/100 Second Chronograph with 24-Hour Digital Display and 60-Minute Analog Display
-Screw-Back Case
-Push Button Safety Clasp on Bracelet Models
-100 Meter Water-Resistant

I know how to operate about 3 of those features and the safety clasp still gives me trouble occasionally.

No, I am not trying to sell you a watch.

I would like to admit that it takes me about 15-20 minutes after every time change (daylight savings time etc) to AGAIN figure out how to adjust the time on that thing. You have to push some stems and pull some stems and then you have to say some magic words. I think a human sacrifice may be involved.

The point being I REALLY only need it to tell time. I like to wear it when I travel between time zones because it switches easily but that’s about it.

We do this in our business too I think…make things more complicated than they need to be.

Our marketing can be effective…and simple.

Our bookkeeping can be organized and simple.

Our audio chains can be sonic and simple.

But we add gadgets and tricks and columns in search of a better way, a more communicative way and sometimes (and this always confuses me) a simpler way (we add things/steps to make them simpler).

When we buy new products…can we stop for a second to see if the bells and whistles are REALLY necessary?

Can we remember to narrow down the new item’s reason for being to the one simple task we need it for?

I don’t know about you, but I have to try and get better at this.

But…my watch IS nicer than your watch!


3 Responses to “why do we make things more complicated?”

  1. Here’s something you might want to consider with respect to the watch. It looks like a very nice timepiece and, despite the complexities you describe, it appears you enjoy using it.

    If you have a tablet that can read PDF files, go to Citizen’s website (in the US it’s http://www.citizenwatch.com/en-us/), look for the model number of the watch, and download the manuals to your computer. Then, copy the manuals to your tablet. That way, you will ALWAYS have the manuals handy without having to search for the paper versions. Plus, you might be able to zoom in on the images and/or instructions of the manuals, since more likely than not the originals are not much bigger than the box the watch probably came in.

    BTW, I did get your point in the article about simplifying life in general. The suggestion above should help you “…get better at this…”

  2. Julio,

    You are very kind to offer that suggestion and in fact last night I did just that. So the watch is working fine.

    And the directions are saved to my computer…a fact I’ll likely forget in 6 months 🙂

    Thanks for visiting.

    Best always,

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