Reduce Friction

Friction slows everything down. Friction is wasted energy (because, science).

Friction generates heat, discomfort, and requires even greater output to sustain.

In short, want more ease? Reduce friction.

Where are you feeling friction? What are you trying to do but feel something dragging or grinding to a halt?

Tim Ferris talks about this when asked how he started his now blockbuster podcast. Before he could reach ‘must-listen’ status he had to get it up and out. So he asked around to people doing what he wanted to do to find out the sticking points.

What is cumbersome? What takes a lot of time and energy? What’s hard about this? What makes others stop?

Once the friction points were identified he looked at how to reduce or remove them. For instance…

Friction point: Detailed Audio Editing

Reduce or remove: He chose to remove it.

Honest trade off: Less polish for more ease.

His podcast is low tech, low edit, nothing fancy. This was a choice in service of removing friction. Make it easy. Don’t get hung up in perfecting it because that just slows down the mission of getting the damn thing done.

This choice had an unintended benefit— it’s raw, real, long, interesting, and truly addicting. As the listener you’re drawn into a candid conversation between two friends. If it were highly polished it would lose what makes it most interesting. All because he chose to remove a friction point so that he could more easily get his product out into the light of day.

Want greater ease? Identify and remove the friction.

Note: That’s why this blog doesn’t have photos. Streamline. Simplify. My goal is to get out a blog a day. Curating images would not help further that aim. Pictures would not make my words come any faster. So I ditched them. For now. I can always change my mind. But more on that later.

Laura Olsen