KISS – and not the mushy kind… A Quick Lesson for Everyone…

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I cannot remember where I first hear about KISS.  But it was probably somewhere between my 1st kiss and now… As wikipedia explains “KISS stands for ‘Keep it Short and Simple,’ or the more recent and disparaging ‘Keep it Simple, Stupid.’” For our purposes here, it can mean both…

My 2 recent experiences…

Analysts try and figure out where the Big 3 went wrong.  There are of course many factors, but one huge one has to be that they did not follow KISS.  Each company has so many brands, each brand so many cars, each car, so many options…  You see where I am going with this?  Too many products – NOT SIMPLE! Confusing and expensive.  Why make the same basic car across 3-4 brands with slight modifications?  Why have 4 versions of that car with 20 different optional packages? NOT SIMPLE! Easy to understand why many give up and buy a Honda or Toyota.

Next example…  after my dilemma about PC/Mac and deciding since Adobe made it NOT SIMPLE for me to switch to Mac (because I cannot move my older versions from PC to Mac), that I would get a Dell desktop, I have used countless hours trying to navigate Dell’s site.  As I build each computer in the business division, I get more confused by the second.  Vostro, Inspiron, Optiplex, XPS…  Desktop, workstation, this model number and that…  Each line has at least 4 models and each model maybe 100+ choices to make.  It is overwelming. 

I need to go back to college for a computer science degree to be able to order my Dell.  I have consulted with 3 “computer knowledgeable” people who volunteered to help and 2 Dell sales people.  And I am a loss. More confused than ever on which model, how much Ram, 64bit or 32bit.  Which monitor, how big a video card, and this list goes on and on and on….  Hmmm – maybe there is something to buying a Mac after all. It is super simple – a few choices and done…  If only Adobe would move my licenses for the older Photoshop versions… This would surely drive me there.  I am getting so frustrated with how hard it is to buy a Dell that I may cave and get a Mac Book Pro – and having two laptops (one for old Photoshop versions on my PC) and then buy a new Photoshop CS4 lisense and a Mac…  

So why tell all of you this? Think…. Apply KISS to your business so you are not Dell and so you are not GM.  Make your pricing simple, make your packages simple, keep your website simple.  Make it easy for people to buy from you. If you are hard to buy from because you make things harder than they need to be, guess what, they will go elsewhere or not buy as much!

Remember your 1st KISS and remember to use KISS in your business for better results!

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 KISS   and not the mushy kind... A Quick Lesson for Everyone...

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and teaches Photoshop to photographers across the globe.

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31 Comments and 1 Replies



  1. 1
    Deena says:

    So true, Jodi! And I have to say, your option for considering MAC with the newer photoshop, and maintaining the others on PC crossed my mind just the other day. I LOVE my mac, but was actually going to suggest you stay with PC as it seemed to make sense. But I think going the Mac route from here on out, and keeping your older things on PC might be a viable solution. Good luck!

  2. 2
    Frank H says:

    Excellent KISS article, this is the approach I am going to be following as I launch my new Photography Studio business. If I do make it to complicated…and fail…maybe the Obama Adminsitration will help bail me out?

    • admin says:

      Obama will help you – if you do not make much money he will help you. If you are successful – you will need to pay up big time. Ok – backing off politics now…

      Good luck with your new business.

  3. 3
    Whitney Gray says:

    Oh how I agree with you!!!! I get so annoyed when things are so complicated that you waste time figuring it all out!! And that’s how pc’s are with everything- Mac is so much easier. I don’t think you would regret getting a Mac-

  4. 4
    Cindy says:

    I hear ya sista!!!! After going through the same thing, I ditched Dell and bought a Sony. Never been happier.

  5. 5

    which is why I go the macpro .. I love it I did have a hassle with adobe… getting the cs4 upgrade to go with the mac is only about $200. other than that hassle the mac has been a dream.. get PLENTY of HD space….

  6. 6
    Adam says:

    Good point on too many choices and KISS.

    Why get a Dell? HP is just as common and has an online purchase tool for non-computer savvy people when it comes to hardware and configuration. I believe HP’s site is a bit more straight forward. We purchase lots of HP systems at the office I work at and they have served us well. We use to purchase Dell’s but stopped that because turn around was too slow. The HP’s we have purchased have come to us very quickly and been of good build quality.

    Another choice is to walk into your local computer store and talk to the sales guy. They build custom systems and support them. Good for local business and face-to-face support. They can answer your questions on the spot and custom build just what you want with ease. My advice would be to go to a local computer shop and have your system custom built by them. It should not cost anymore $ than a quality Dell or HP pre-packaged system.

  7. 7
    Jessica T says:

    Jodi:

    I have a Dell XPS…not sure what else is on it since my husband is the computer guru in my house. All we own are Dell’s and we have 2 desktops and 1 laptop. I myself have never even touched a Mac. Hope you can figure out your plan!

  8. 8
    Heather says:

    KISS words to live by! I personally LOVE my MAC! I switched over from a PC about 3 years ago and couldn’t be happier. I just bought a MAC book and am loving that as well. I think I’ve converted my husband. It was a bit of a learning curve making the switch but its worth it in the end.

  9. 9
    rita says:

    Personally, I would never get a Dell. I had one previously and had a lot of problems. Plus, I know so many people who have had problems with them.

    I use a MacBook Pro at work, which I love (with CS3, which is nice). At home, we have two HP laptops (which both have just CS). Both of those are great too.

  10. 10
    Paul Kremer says:

    I do agree with you. I am tech savvy and was still annoyed by how complex Dell’s website is. I can’t even imagine what someone who doesn’t keep up with computer equipment must feel trying to piece together a system. On the other hand, Dell does make a great product and has great customer service, so I wouldn’t give up on them just yet. A few tips:

    -If you can afford $1500 to $2000, go with the workstations. They are awesome! If you want to keep it under $1500, go with the Vostro.

    -You don’t need 64-bit. Stick with 32-bit. By the time 64-bit software is actually making a difference in our workflow and we are putting outrageous amounts of RAM in our machines, it’ll be time to buy new equipment anyway.

    -3.0 Ghz DuoCore or better and you will be a happy camper.

    -Max out the RAM at 4 GB, you’ll be happy you did.

    -512 MB video card or better if you can afford. 512 will do awesome for you, but don’t do less.

    That’s the important stuff!

  11. 11
    MariaV says:

    Sound advice and well said. For years, I’ve stood behind my motto “If it takes more than five steps to do it, you’re doing it wrong and there is an easier way to do it.” This has held true for at least 95% of my work.

    My other motto is in tune with your advice “Make it as easy as possible for your clients to contact you and hire you/purchase from you.” Simple!

  12. 12
    Kristi says:

    Oh my gosh, Jodie, I LOVE this post. It is SO true in any business, but especially of the PC buying experience. I switched to Mac and purchased all new software and while it was an additional expense to do that (that Photoshop pill was really hard to swallow!) I don’t regret it for one minute. You have a tough decision – good luck!

  13. 13
    honey says:

    Jodi … I told you I had the same thing just happen when my pc crashed AGAIN. I on the dell website with my friend who networks and fixes pc’s for a living. He made a few ultimate machines for me on the Dell site and then told me to get the mac. He originally was on the pc side because his point was I am not a pc girl or a mac girl … I am a photoshop girl. After hashing out all options Mac was the way to go. Everything about MAC is KISS. When using files and organizing I was overwhelmed at first with the switch. All I have to do is think of the simplest way to make it work and there it is … I can find & do anything in seconds. One poster had a point about the speed … any new system is going to be fast. It’s the way it works, the way it stores and organizes … I really love it. I have had bad pc luck … maybe just a fluke. I am still confused why you have to buy the new c4 for mac… can’t that be your platform switch? You could continue running the older versions on your laptops?

  14. 14
    johnna says:

    KISSes can only come from MAC! Cave, and receive kiss! ;)

    *just an fyi: when i first saw this article, i thought you were going to talk about my latest fave KISS wedding books: http://kissweddingbooks.com

  15. 15

    This is such a good reminder, thanks so much!

  16. 16
    Erin J says:

    This is a great idea! All I can say is… moving to Apple computers was my BEST move ever!!!!

  17. 17
    Brendan says:

    I use both regularly, but I never joined the cult of Mac fanboys. They both have pros and cons.
    Cost, and lack of certain software is a big negative for macs. Additionally, every office I ever worked in has used only PCs (Windows & Unix).

  18. 18
    Linda says:

    I run CS4. I needed a new computer, went to Best Buy, told the geeky little sales guy that I wanted the best computer he had for the amount of money that I wanted to spend, he wrote it up, I paid for it and home I went. That was 6 months ago and I’m still happy. KISS. =)

  19. 19
    Michelle says:

    Thank you!! That’s what I think, too. I was just typing up my current price sheet for 2009 yesterday and part of me was thinking, it’s this it? It’s not much… doesn’t even fill up the page. But then I realized by keeping it simple it makes it easier for my clients to choose and allows us both to focus on the fun stuff… the photography, and not get all wrapped up in 10 different package options, etc. If it works for Costco (only offering 1 or 2 of something) then it will work for me. :)

    Sorry you’re struggling with the computer decision still. :( Bummer!!

  20. 20
    Keith G says:

    Have you considered buying a mac and using VMWare Fusion? http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/

  21. 21
    Laura says:

    Sorry for all the confusion you’re dealing with!! What a pain.
    I have a Dell desktop, but I LOVE*LOVE*LOVE my MacBook Pro. You will NOT be disappointed! Everything about Mac’s is so simple and user friendly. Once you go Mac, You’ll never go back :) Ha- Good luck!

  22. 22
    AmandaG says:

    Buying from the Apple site is pretty simple.

  23. 23

    So true! Though how KISS your approach has to be, strongly depends on how you interact with your clients. KISS, yes, but not necessarily as much as possible – I know you did not say this;-)
    So, getting the right amount of KISS for your business is key, IMHO.

  24. 24
    Jodi says:

    I did not mean for this to just be about me and my computer issues – but more about seriously keeping things simple.

    Anyway – I went to the apple store today – so simple… I did not buy yet – but I am now leaning that way – Mac desktop – and keep my PC laptop. If macs are as great as everyone says then when time to upgrade my laptop – I will switch to mac.

    This assuming my hand hits the buy button…

    Oh and my roommate from right after college works for Apple. And can get me a tiny bit off too – which may push me into the MacPro vs iMac. Hmmmm.

    So remember – Dell pretty much lost this deal even more than apple won it. They made it too hard for me to shop from them. They muddied the waters and confused me. I had three people helping me. Everyone suggested different things – not dell people but readers here who are technical. I mean – it should not be that hard…

    Anyway, I have great posts ready to go but I am leaving town Thursday through Sunday – and will have very limited internet. So… once I get back I will make a final decision.

    Thank you everyone for your help!!!

    Jodi

    PS – for those who suggested HP – I had an HP laptop prior to my dell laptop I have now – it almost caught fire it ran so hot. It ruined furniture. It was HORRIBLE – and their customer service was the worst – at least to me.

  25. 25
    Brad says:

    Jodi, two things about the Mac: 1) be sure to get the 24-inch version as the screen has an 8-bit color depth; the 20-inch iMac has only 6-bit; so it dithers colors to get the complete color spectrum displayed, which causes color-shifts when viewing at an angle. 2) Time Machine is the best backup tool for backing up to an external hard drive. It automatically backs up all changed files every hour; so you never have to think about backing up. The best part is if you need to restore a version of a file; you can get it back easily. For example, if you overwrote a Word document with some changes today, and then realized that you should not have; you can restore the version from a previous backup with Time Machine. Cool stuff!

  26. 26
    Jodi says:

    Brad – if I do the macpro – how are the cinema displays?

  27. 27
    Brad says:

    Cinema displays won’t have this issue. The iMac is the only one that has the issue. The 30-inch Cinema Display has a gorgeous screen, and lots of workspace. You will definitely be happy with that combination. The Mac Pro with the quad-core processors makes Photoshop really fly (although I only have the new iMac, everything you read in like MacWorld shows Photoshop CS4 runs faster on the Mac Pro than any other machine computer there is). I really think if you get the Mac, you will never look back with regret, especially if you keep your PC to do legacy versions of Photoshop.

  28. 28
    Sarah says:

    I really enjoy your bits of wisdom and your tutorials! Thanks for putting forth the effort to help people you don’t even know!

  29. 29

    jodi, if you are a member of PPA you can get an Apple discount. http://www.ppa.com

  30. 30
    Linda says:

    Enjoy your articles, tutorials and wittisims….I’ve used KISS most of my live and have adapted it to Keep It Simple Sista as a more positive reminder to all my gal pals

    Waiting to follow your computer decision. Have the same ongoing dilema and it’s hard to come up with the justification of the MAC opposed to cost for the machine and software not to mention the learning curve. Have found that if you are aware and smart in the ways you utilize your PC the “issues” can be near non-existant

  31. 31

    Very wise advice. I am going to call GM right this second : )



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