So many new products and services come about because of an additional feature or enhanced component but think about the success stories that are because of what they subtracted.

Acute care centers created a whole new level of medical treatment when they did without the extensive services that an emergency room can provide. Southwest captured the vacation traveler niche when it did without in-flight amenities and complex booking procedures. A whole category of budget hotels became popular by foregoing room service, restaurants and concierges. Planet Fitness focused on the average person who wanted to stay in shape and left the serious bodybuilders to go elsewhere.

Dry shampoo is a whole new market that left the water behind. Pepper focused on whole peppercorns and fresh grinders without worrying about the salt component to the spice set. Salt created its own niche with a push for sea salt as a premium product. Our local movie theatre made a name for itself for its popcorn as much as for its movies.

Opportunities abound when you decouple items that are traditionally paired and focus on creating a uniqueness with one component. The next time you’re looking to provide something new ask yourself what you should leave out to achieve it.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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