If you’re a Windows user, do you ever use Notepad? If so, how often?
My guess is that you use it and that you use it frequently. At least I know that my partners and I do. Why though? We all have Google Docs access. We all have Open Office Writer installed on our computer. The answer lies in it’s simplicity. It opens super fast, doesn’t auto format any of my text, and saves tiny .txt files. I use it for quick to-do lists, to write SQL statements, and to type blog posts.
There are countless examples of this in the products we use and the businesses we buy from. Google works because it’s so simple. Type in a query and get relevant results. Pencil and paper work because they’re cheap, simple, and unrestricted. Twitter works because everyone can wrap their heads around 140 characters of text. More complex solutions often fail because they are trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
But being someone who likes to be on the “cutting edge”, I’m guessing you sometimes make simple things complex. Am I right? A great example happened to me recently.
Over the past few years I’ve become somewhat of a tea aficionado. It started when I first quit my job and needed to get out of the house to keep my sanity from time to time. Coffee shops with free wi-fi became the obvious choice. Over the course of the past few years I’ve gone to every single place in the greater Albany area that offers wi-fi and food and/or drink. However, since I don’t drink coffee and I don’t really like to eat out often, I started drinking tea. At first it was just green tea, but then I expanded to all sorts of green, black, white, and herbal varieties. The numerous health benefits (assuming you don’t add anything to it, which I don’t), combined with it’s affordability got me started on becoming a daily tea drinker. One local coffee shop in particular has great organic loose tea – much better than the stuff you find in the grocery store.
But when I first started buying my own loose tea, there was the issue of how to steep it. I started with a simple old-school infuser that my girlfriend picked up at IKEA:
Then I moved on to an Adiago ingenuiTEA:
And then a glass mug and infuser:
Why so many different options? Each one kept having the same problem – it’s a total freaking pain in the ass to clean after you’ve made your cup of tea. There’s really no way to get them totally clean without rinsing them under the sink and getting tea leaves everywhere.
The solution? I recently switched to using…get this, a tea bag. $3 for 100 of them. Does a great job steeping the tea. Easy clean up. Problem solved. Talk about turning something simple into something complex!