I’ve noticed something over the last 4 years as a Dad of 2 young boys – related to their toys – and I think it’s helping me with our business. And that’s this: The simpler the toy, the more it gets used. Period. Things like basic building blocks get used nearly every day. Play kitchens with 100 different accessories – not so much. In fact, things that are not even toys like car keys and empty toilet paper rolls get way more play than Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon ship that costs $184.99 bucks on Amazon. Seriously, it does – http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-OTC-MILLENNIUM-FALCON/dp/B00020LZ6Q.
I know parents of young kids that read this will laugh – but at Christmas the last 4 years the most played with things have been the boxes that the new fancy toys came in. Our kids love the boxes and the masking tape on the boxes. The damn masking tape. Really. As I put together some gigantic toy construction site with remote controlled ramps and dump trucks and lights and sirens that take 12 size D batteries – they are in the corner pretending the box it came in is a fort. They use the tape to stick random objects from our living room onto their new fort. They get in the fort and play hide and seek. Their imaginations run wild with the silly cardboard box. So 2 hours later I finish putting together the mother of all toys for ages 3-6, they run over and kick it and push it around the hard floor for about 15 minutes. That’s it, they never play with it again. That box though…it gets used until it’s worn slap out and no longer functions as a box.
I think about this all the time when working on Schedulefly. I fight the urge to add more stuff to it just because we are growing and adding more customers and “should” be doing more. I fight the urge to add things that increase the chance of it breaking from trying to do too much and becoming less useful instead. I work hard on keeping it more like stick or a box or basic building blocks. I really believe that if we keep Schedulefly basic and don’t overdo it, then it will always be useful.
Off to donate some almost brand new toys…