The Complexity of Simple
Biz Stone

I try to approach building product like world-class chefs approach cooking.

What is the core flavor/ingredient you want someone to experience?

Salmon? Great. Everything else should be built around that (typically less than 5 additional flavors/ingredients) and those flavors should sit in the background. If your customer is someone craving salmon, then your end goal is them saying, “Damn, that was good salmon.”

Are your users able to say something similar about your product?

My primary reference when I cook is The Flavor Bible. For every ingredient in the book, there is a small array of flavor affinities that are essentially fool-proof combinations to create a great dish. Sure, there is an abundance of flavors you could experiment with, but don’t be too bullish out of the gate. Save those for the test kitchen…

Salmon + Lemon + Salt + Fresh Dill = 😋nom nom

Salmon + Montreal Seasoning + Mustard Seed + Soy Sauce + Seasonal Salt + Dressing of some sort = 🤔maybe…..

Strive to make something simple, recognizable, and fool-proof. Just because you have 20 tasty ingredients to choose from and know how to use, mixing all of them in a dish is too much of a risk. Even if you do get lucky using a verbose list of ingredients, the person eating it might not be able to easily tell anyone else what they just ate.

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