Sometimes less is more

Sometimes less is more

I missed a message from a client a few days back.

Thankfully it wasn’t urgent, but it led me to question whether we are benefiting or being besieged by the multiplicity of ways we can be reached nowadays.

The client had sent me a note via WhatsApp, but the fact that I hadn’t seen it set me thinking.

I can be contacted – as can you, I’m guessing – via phone (home and mobile), work email, personal email, text, LinkedIn messages, Twitter DMs, Teams messaging, Facebook Messenger and (when I actually check my phone) Whatsapp.

Then there’s Zoom Chat, Slack Messenger, YouTube messenger, Instagram messenger, Blink and a whole host of others.

And now there’s a new way of staying in touch: Clubhouse.

I have to say I’m late to the Clubhouse party (maybe it’s just that no-one’s invited me) but the last thing I feel I need right now is yet another communications channel that actually presents an opportunity to *miss* a communication – because I’m so busy checking all my other channels to see if anyone’s tried to get in touch.

I asked my friend’s daughter, who’s an IT whizz, whether it would be possible for someone (preferably her – she’d be an overnight millionaire) to aggregate all these comms channels into a single app that lets you know with a single beep if anyone has tried to reach you by any of the above means.

Voila – no more missed messages.

Apparently as most of them use e2e encryption it’s not feasible. Pity – I think my friend was hoping to retire early on the (her) proceeds.

But it does remind me of the time not so long back where each mobile phone manufacturer decided to have their own unique charging port – which just created a tangle of wires and frustration. What we’ve got here seems to be something similar. Every app and device manufacturer wants to try and enclose you in their own ecosystem, for their benefit, not yours.

What we actually need right now are fewer channels of communication, not more.

So my plea to all those developers and venture capitalists rushing to launch even more ways to stay in touch: “Don’t bother”.

If you agree (or disagree) with the sentiment in the blog, please feel free to leave a message. Just don’t expect me to see it right away.


Simon Hayhurst

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