Thursday, August 1, 2013

Will Miss #521 - the limited selection

A refreshingly puny selection of products for lightening your coffee. Also, "Creap" is an awesome name for a product.

Studies have shown that giving people more than three choices creates stress for them, yet every time I walk into a supermarket in America, there are umpteen variations to choose from for almost every popular product. When I first arrived here, it was like a wonderland, but it was also oppressive and overwhelming as I tried to take it all in.

In Japan, there was always limited variety along with the limited space. They introduced variety via a revolving door approach. You could have this type for awhile, and then it went away. Sometimes, it came back, but there tended to be one core product and one variant and little more at any given time.

At times, these limits were maddening, especially when I liked a variety and it vanished forever. This was the yang to the yin of the reduced stress of fewer options. It meant we tended to go overboard stocking up when something we liked came around. However, overall, I'd rather have fewer choices and less stress. I miss the way in which fewer choices created a sense that I knew and could take in the environment.