Do The Simple Thing First

25th June, 2015 - 3 minutes read

“Do the simple thing first” is the mantra they use at Instagram and it has been since day one.

One of the founders of Instagram, Mike Krieger, explained it in a recent article with Fast Company:

“When there were just two of us, we didn’t have the time to do the fanciest, most complete thing. Doing the simple thing first started as a survival tactic, and became a mantra. Today, that phrase is burned into brains of all my engineers which is awesome.”

But what does it mean and how do you apply it to a business that is nowhere near the size of a $1bn giant like Instagram? Excuse the choice of words: it’s simple. If you’re approaching any initiative it’s always best to strip away all the things that aren’t necessary and focus on the key purpose.

Our approach to online marketing and web design is to work with our clients to get to grips with their problem and help fix it.

Do the simple thing first. You can always address the other stuff later.

Take building a new website. The temptation when you build a new website is to want it to do everything. Bells and whistles. The reality is, it doesn’t need to do everything. Ask yourself: why are you building a new site? It might be that your current site is getting a lot of visitors but not enough people are contacting you or buying from it. It might be that your site is performing really well on desktop but it lets you down on mobile – we’ve seen that a lot recently. In both examples, it doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. In most instances, it’s a case of evolution rather than revolution.

As Krieger says of the evolving development at Instagram:

“We’re not refactoring or rewriting code just for its own sake. Software is like gardening—one day I’ll go behind the shed and clean up. But if nobody ever goes there, does it matter a lot?”

Doing the simple thing first means you solve the right problem in an affordable way. When you begin to muddy the waters and overcomplicate a project, that’s when deadlines get missed and projects balloon into a costly mess. If you’ve got a problem you’d like a simple solution to, give us a call on 01926 358 200 or email me on elliott@miromedia.co.uk.