Less, But Better

German designer Dieter Rams is considered one of the best industrial designers of the 20th century. He is credited with hundreds of iconic products—everything from the Oral-B toothbrush to home audio equipment, Braun coffee makers to calculators. He has inspired a generation of world-renowned designers, including Apple’s famed designer, Jony Ive. His secret? Rams firmly believes that “good design” involves as little design as possible. Rams described his approach with the German phrase “Weniger, aber besser,” less, but better. Rams’s intention: to design an experience that was simple and effortless.

The ‘Less, But Better’ Approach to Life

Imagine taking this Less, but Better approach to our life design. Focus on its double meaning. By doing less, we can improve ourselves because we gain time and energy. By doing less, we will have more. When I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself of Rams’ philosophy “Weniger, aber besser.” Less, but better.

I have been blessed with what modern society would deem a successful career. Certainly part of this success is my ability to focus better than most. That being said, I would’ve given myself a Focus grade of a D-. Imagine how much more fulfilled and happy I could be if I increased my focus from a D- to a B+? A-? A+?

Ignorance wasn’t the issue. I’d read numerous articles and books about the importance of being focused, so why wasn’t I practicing it? Why wasn’t I implementing it on a day-to-day basis? Why aren’t you?

Simplification Isn’t Easy

Focusing is similar to getting into better shape. Information isn’t the issue. We know the simple formula: Eat Better + Exercise = A Healthier Life. We have the knowledge, but that doesn’t mean we are executing on it. Most successful entrepreneurs and people believe success has much less to do with the idea and everything to do with the execution. This is so true. Success is about developing consistent daily routines and habits versus relying on willpower.

My mind raced around these thoughts until I hit something so captivating, I couldn’t let it go. For weeks, the idea kept popping into my head, but the thought seemed like pure fantasy. An impossibility.



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About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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