Paradox of Choice is ludicrous

It’s one thing when a person writes a book and gets it all wrong but it is yet another thing when entrepreneurs believe the nonsense Barry Schwartz is promulgating merely because he is a psychologist and a college professor.

I just posted the following comment on a different blog:

From your post, you offer this observation:

“People only want a limited amount of choice. And that’s not to say consumer behavior won’t change in the future, but consumers are fairly intolerant of the paradox of choice, which basically states that choice brings us happiness but too much choice makes decision-making miserable.”

This is nothing other than pure, unadulterated B.S. The professor who wrote about the “Paradox of Choice” writes about being overwhelmed after walking into a retail outlet to “just buy a pair of jeans” and was “overwhelmed” about all the choices he could chose from.  He said it was so disturbing that he had to write a book to understand his reaction. Customizers need to throw a flag on the concept of “paradox of choice.”  This book is complete nonsense.  Just because a professor writes a book doesn’t make it so.  Customize on–give your customers what they want.

Barry–get a grip!  Less is not more–it is simply less.

Also, here are some best practices to consider to help your customers converge on a solution that best meets their needs.  If you are considering constraining choice from your customers, stop!  It may be that you need a configurator to guide customers through the variety available to them.  My firm helps companies with that.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

© 2010 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved


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