Loading... Please wait...

Feature Creep


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

-Leonardo Da Vinci

I grew up in a house without a remote control. When I came home from school I watched my shows - Bugs Bunny, Kung Fu, and Grizzly Adams. When it was time to change the channel or volume I would hop up off the couch and manually change the channel. (Young readers - "Oh the humanity!")
Somewhere along the way an engineer thought to himself: "I'm tired of getting off the couch to change the channel and volume. I've slaved away at a desk all day with my slide rule crunching numbers and by God I will figure out a way to do this while sitting down."
And he did. There are several examples of early remotes; all of them having about four or five buttons. And with good reason - there were only four or five things that needed doing.
But as the technology improved, components shrank leaving engineers the option to reduce the size of the remote, leaving it too small to comfortably control, or to keep the size and just have extra space. Here's the thing - engineers HATE extra space. Unused extra space to Thoreau was beauty. To engineers it is demoralizing defeat.
So the inevitable happened. Some design team sat around a table one day with coffee and doughnuts and brainstormed: "Look at all this wasted real estate. (Designers use terms like 'real estate' to sound edgy) What a waste. Just think - we could add an extra button or two to do (x...)"
And they did. They added an extra button or two. Not because it was especially needed - people weren't making these new adjustments often, so getting up wasn't a big deal. But they added them anyway in the name of customer demand, convenience, progress. The same old excuses engineers and designers use to do what they want to do. As a lot they are a passive-aggressive bunch.
Unfortunately this cycle repeated itself again and again. New design teams added still more features - not mission critical mind you, just using the available space and making things ever more feature rich and convenient. But the new features did not improve the performance of the functions that actually needed doing. If anything they diminished them as buttons got smaller and more cluttered.
Enter the modern remote. My remote has 43 buttons. I use 13 of them. I use eight regularly. I have no idea what half of the other buttons do.
The term for this phenomena is Feature Creep.
Feature Creep is not limited to consumer electronics. You see it in cars, guns, holsters, packs and yes - tomahawks.
Historically the tomahawk has been a pretty simple tool and weapon: a handle with a blade attached at a 90 degree angle. Some striking surface opposite the blade, either a basher or a hole puncher. Sometimes a pipe.
The beauty of the tomahawk is it's simplicity.
No consumables to run out: bullets, powder, batteries etc..
No prep needed: no loading, safeties, on off switches - they are ready to rock once in the hand.
But just like the remote, tomahawk designers have fallen prey to feature creep.
Thoreau tells us "Simplify, simplify, simplify."
But tomahawks are now coming out with pry bars, hex wrenches, saws, interchangeable tools, can opener style sheet metal cutters, gas shut off slots - I swear to you someone will probably release one at SHOT Show this month that has a bottle opener. So that if you are in the field and you don't have your 19 other tools that people decided to put bottle openers on, you can use your hawk.

RMJ Tactical Hawks are simple. Deadly simple. And we work hard to keep them that way. If you need a hawk with a laser sight, call the other guys.

comments powered by Disqus

Recent Updates


Connect with us Facebook Instagram YouTube