K.I.S.S. and Sell

In a complex world, simplicity may be the way to persuade someone to buy a camera--or your idea

ILLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY SHOUT

"Less is more." the phrase is cliché--but behind the trite, there's truth. In his book In Pursuit of Elegance, business consultant Matthew May details why we engage more intimately with ideas and objects that are simpler and then shows how organizations--from HR departments to police forces--put that concept to use.

May's approach is to start with the science. An examination of curiosity, for example, begins in 1890 with psychologist William James, winds through research conducted in the 1950s and '90s and then wraps up with a modern-day application: selling more digital cameras. Three ads for the new Sony QV are set...

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