When Life is Full of Filler

What do the following concepts have in common?

  • Eliminate waste
  • Parkinson’s Law
  • Dunbar’s Number
  • Limit WIP
  • Descaling

That common thread is what this post is all about.

With the rising costs of living brought on by the pandemic and war, some consumer packaged goods producers have been managing to keep prices from rising by selling products with less quantity or lower quality for the same price that consumers previously paid. A practice coined “shrinkflation”. What I would call, getting less for more. As a bargain hunter, I tend to look for the opposite – more for less. What do I associate with the word, more? A number of things come to mind.

  1. The first thing is size. Is it bigger?
  2. The second thing is duration. Will it lasts longer?
  3. The third thing is capability. Will I get more functionality or utility?
  4. The final thing that comes to mind is aesthetics. The je ne sais quoi aspect that appeals to our unstated expectations. Is it aesthetically pleasing?

Bigger, longer, more functional and aesthetically pleasing to boot! More is better, right? What more could I want?

A lot less when “more” becomes an illusion. When more is just useless filler or fluff.

Bigger becomes an illusion when it’s the packaging and filler surrounding the product.

  • Beauty cream containers with false bottoms that make you think you’re getting more cream.
  • Ice cold drinks that are more ice than drink.
  • Sushi rolls that are more rice than fish.

Longer becomes an illusion when it has nothing to do with the product or service.

  • Concerts when the opening acts last longer than the main attraction.
  • Your commute time.
  • Continuing to talk long after the sale has been made,

More functional becomes an illusion when the additional functionality is irrelevant or unnecessary for your job to be done.

  • A Swiss Army knife when all I need is a pair of scissors.
  • A Veg-O-Matic that slices, dices, chops and shreds when all I need is a potato peeler.
  • Bloatware that comes pre-installed on new computers.

Aesthetically pleasing becomes an illusion when it’s smoke and mirrors, pomp and circumstance.

  • The gourmet dish that’s plated elegantly but tastes bland and soulless.
  • Lipstick on a pig.
  • A Rube Goldberg machine.

When more becomes an illusion then, less is way more.

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