Keep It Simple, Stupid

The “KISS” rule is one I remember learning in grade school, and the technology business is learning it all over again. The New York Times Bits Blog has a piece about it today, describing consumer enthusiasm for simple, inexpensive gadgets. There were a couple reasons I got excited about this:

(1) I just wrote a piece for BusinessWeek/GigaOM arguing that netbooks are greener than laptops, and the widespread appeal of the simple device is why I think the point is relevant. Efficiency and non-toxicity aren’t that impressive  A lot of the commenters aren’t sold on my argument, as they see netbooks as secondary (or even tertiary or quaternary) devices for high-end consumers. I’m convinced that these suckers are here to stay, and that they’re going to be the computer of choice for lots of everyday people. I know friends who are buying them as their first computer, and even more friends buying them for their folks for Christmas. Low-power, cleaner computers for every day use? That’s something I can get behind.

(2) The iPhone as a remote control for home-automation systems is kind of awesome. Not that Sonos is the one doing it, but I know that Tendril offers an iPhone app to control its system.  I wrote about this in the Smart Energy Home briefing earlier this year, but the convergence of smart energy technology with other consumer technologies is, in my opinion, a key piece of what will make smart energy a reality.

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