system two

system two
start-up thinking in the enterprise

Monday, 23 January 2012

Choice is toxic

Choice isn't something that the primal parts of our simple human brains understand very well.

Imagine its July 8th, 7:03am, 13,654 BC

You're cold, filthy and hungry. You’re being chased by an angry bear. You stumble across a blackberry bush. You desperately need food to sustain your flight but your favorite fruit is raspberries….

Do you have an existential issue about the "choice" on offer?

When I hear second rate NHS managers and socially awkward politicians talk about "choice" I get very nervous. "Choice" for technocrats has come to mean wiggle room. “Choice” allows many of those who choose to govern us to muddy the waters around adequacy of specific services. It allows the disingenuous in both private and public sectors to use the best, to obscure the worst.

Take your nearest A&E department. As a consumer of government services, you need the one closest to you to be up to scratch. A “choice” within some arbitrarily assigned perimeter of my home is meaningless. "Choice" helps politicians answer awkward questions on talk shows, not patients in blue lights speeding to be taken care of in failing hospitals.

There isn't much of a choice with Apple. Apple don't make the iPhone 4D and the iPhone 5TXd and iPhone 8PS14 extreme. They make the iPhone 4. That's it, that's the standard and as a consequence anything else looks rather second rate and flabby.

Blackberry - lots of choice..

And their respective shareprice....


The antidote to the toxicity of choice is simplicity, curation and trust.


The service of a tailor makes the  assumption that customers without the looks and figure of a supermodel are prepared to pay more, specifically not to be given a choice. To be free from its tyranny.

That is why I'm excited about one of the MVPs we released last week from Fluxx labs called www.ijustwantawhiteboard.com.

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