From 2006 to 2015, McDonald’s growth had been declining. The executives saw the problem as the limited menu in the fast-food chain and had been continuously increasing the offerings. In October 2015, McDonald’s went back to basics, introduced all-day breakfast and dropped most of the additional items. It marked the most significant strategic move the company made since 2009. It was also one of the biggest initiatives made under Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook (reference.) What McDonalds’ customers wanted was not a big menu but an all-day breakfast. Executives had known this but chose to ignore it. Sales increased with same-store revenue by 6% in 2017, and the stock rose by 40%. With the pandemic in 2020, McDonalds decided to stop all-day breakfast and then had to reverse the decision leaving the choice with store owners. There are groups of people chasing stores which sell all-day breakfast like this one.
This made me ask the question-“less is more” or “bigger is better”? Many fields have specific advice. Marketing experts caution writers to use less than 400 words, solutions designers talk about the need to remove barriers, managers talk about re-use, and so on. In contrast, there are only a few reminders to add stuff to fix problems. Consider this experiment from the University of Virginia (link, featured) that involved making patterns out of different coloured squares. Only 20% of participants removed squares to make a pattern, even though removing or adding squares was equally possible. When participants were asked to improve a travel itinerary, only 28% reduced destinations. When students were asked to improve an essay, only 17% reduced the word counts.
Saksoft’s version of the same is called being inch wide and mile deep. It gives the management the ability to focus on their strengths. Product managers and business analysts have a better understanding of the industry. Developers have a deeper understanding of the product which they are trying to build. It means we can render industry-specific solutions with high chances of the idea resulting in success for our customers. It also means that there is no disconnect between the request and the product/service we deliver.
We pride ourselves on being very good at a few things. We don’t see ourselves as a Swiss army knife, we see ourselves as the diggers in the movie Armageddon.