“We have too much stuff,” my wife said six months into the pandemic.
We’d done purges before, but they never lasted. Soon afterward, she’d say, “We STILL have too much stuff!” And she was right. This time, we decided to search the internet for advice and discovered Marie Kondo.
“KonMari” is a Japanese organizational consultant who has achieved international lifestyle-guru status for helping people tidy up. I like her because she is passionate about helping people solve a particular problem, is clearly an expert, and is trustworthy.
As I reviewed her method, it struck me how well her approach to decluttering applies to GDCA’s business of helping embedded-computer OEMs declutter their product portfolios.
Clutter affects people’s lives in countless ways. Clutter occupies space and makes it difficult to enjoy helpful possessions because they’re lost in a sea of clutter and not easily visible. Embedded-computer OEMs face a similar dynamic.
Old designs compete for limited attention and take resources from more valuable, newer products, and the hope that old designs might again be useful someday to drive profits compounds this. Unfortunately for most companies, the data do not support this notion.
KonMari’s method starts with reimagining your ideal situation and making a commitment to tidy up. As a legacy equipment manufacturer (LEM) who helps OEMs declutter their enterprises of old designs, I encourage embedded OEMs to think of all the reasons they retain problematic old designs, then ask themselves what it would take to resolve those concerns.
For example, if they’re concerned about losing money, what if they could make the same amount of money by handing the work off to an LEM? If they’re concerned about upsetting customers, what if they could get credit for satisfying the customer without doing the work themselves?
Finally, like KonMari, I like to ask people if they truly like the business activity created by sustaining old designs. Do they spark joy? Oftentimes, the answer is “Not really”—because they’re chores, and people don’t like doing chores.
If your old product designs are not sparking joy and you’d like to change your business lifestyle, we’d love to help you declutter.