Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meet the Newest Angry Bird

Say "Hello" to the newest member of the Angry Birds family: Balloon Bird

Balloon bird is little orange canary that blows up like a balloon when tapped. It will be introduced in the new Halloween update to Angry Birds: Seasons, a spinoff of the wildly popular original.

And when I say wildly popular I am not exaggerating (which I tend to do). Angry birds has been downloaded more than 400 million times and has 30 million users playing it every single day. And only half of those Angry Bids fans are in America!

Angry Birds is a perfect example of success through simplicity. Today, things are often over-complicated.  Even things that are start off as a simple concept all-too-often become over-complicated with success. The people at Rovio have resisted this urge. Even while spreading their reach across multiple channels -- multiple spin-off games, plush toys, a movie, and even cookbook -- they've managed to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

Software companies can learn from this. Take Facebook for example; started as a simple concept where classmates could see each other's headshot, connect, and share notes. It soon became a way to "take the entire college experience online," and with every update, it became more and more complicated (and not without angering users). Today, Facebook is not just a place for classmates to connect, it's a place that 800 million people connect, post pictures, share what they're doing, who they're doing, what they're reading, eating, watching, listening to, and more. And with the upcoming Timeline update, it has officially become over-complicated.

But it's not only software companies that could value simplicity, all products and services should simplify their offer. Expansion and multiplicity only lead to confusion and devaluing your product. Soon-thereafter you'll have a complicated product surrounding what was once a valuable core concept. It can only go downhill from there. And the last thing you want is for it all to blow up in your face like when a green pig meets little yellow bird.

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