In “Bad Ideas of the Week”, we highlight the inventions which people tried to get off the ground but which failed and we can learn from.
This week, I want to bring you the story of a new sport which was doomed from the start as a concept.
It is called Kronum, and was designed to be the ultimate sport, combining aspects of soccer, basketball, rugby and some would even say Quidditch.
To see what I mean, just watch the video above, which outlines the rules of the sport. There are so many rules that it goes on for more than four minutes!
In fact, according to the official Kronum Website, it was founded in 2006 in Pennsylvania USA with the following aim:
…combining elements of some of the most popular sports in the world on to one field. The intent is to make Kronum a new sport for the modern athlete, allowing for a full display of human athleticism.
The creators of the game obviously thought that “if we take all of the best bits of all of the best sports and put them together, it must result in the best new sport”.
- The dribbling and shooting of basketball!!!
- The kicking and scoring of soccer!!!
- The full contact of rugby!!!
- The spectator excitement of darts (*sarcasm*)
In this case, what you end up with is a horrible, confusing mess of a sport which is so excessively complicated that it never managed to really catch on.
In fact, the sport only appears to have a few teams playing in the state where it was founded, and has fewer Twitter followers than I do. When doing research for this piece, it took me hours to even find the name of the sport, as it only appears to be listed in a single WIRED article. It doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry, and its own website is broken.
And if you by any chance want to buy the specialised Kronum ball, good luck because it’s not on Amazon either.
What can we learn from this?
The main lesson on how to avoid the fate with your own new idea is simple:
More isn’t always more. Sometimes more is less, and less is more.
Businesses and entrepreneurs often think that if you add more features to a product that it going to make it more appealing to the end user. But this often only works up until a certain point when the innovation is both functional but still useable.
As a good example, ask yourself which of these two swiss army knives are you more likely to buy:
This one (option A):
Or this one (option B)?
A good set of rules to follow is Dieter Rams 10 principles of good design, especially his last point which says that “good design is as little design as possible”.
Now it’s over to you: let me know in the comments about any idea you think failed because it tried to stuff itself with so many features that it became unusable.
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