Does the code not work? Write more code. Is the PowerPoint presentation not clear? Add more bullets. Has the project or business hit a rough patch? Add more time, money, people, process steps, features… or all of the above.
There is a better way.
Instead of adding, try subtracting. Instead of increasing, decrease. The problem may have nothing to do with what’s missing and everything to do with what is present. There may be too much clutter, too much friction, too much weight. And so the solution requires reductive techniques, to streamline and focus the product.
When we distill our message down to a single point, when we identify the most important requirement, the most valuable function, we may discover that deleting everything else results in a new creation that is simultaneously simpler and better. Like a sculpture, the final product weighs less and means more.
The key is to cultivate a sculptor’s perspective and apply it to our work. This enables us to see creative possibilities that are only available to the hand that holds a chisel or eraser. Like any tool, mastery of these subtractive techniques takes time, and the key to gaining expertise is simply to use them.
So start now. Start anywhere. Remove something.
You just may discover this is the path to profoundly creative work.