The Art of Lagom: Focusing on Your Core for a Sustainable Future

I was recently recommended an interesting book called “Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less” by Leidy Klotz which explores the often overlooked concept of subtraction as a means to solve problems and improve our lives.

We humans have a natural tendency to add rather than subtract, leading to cluttered lives, overcomplicated solutions, and missed opportunities for improvement.

This is especially true in Web development. Clients want’s to add more data, more tracking, more features, etc. with the false hope that more content will generate more revenue.

But how often do we review and remove unused functionality?

Sustainable Tech

This is something we at Knowit Experience talk about a lot when we talk about Sustainable Tech and our slogan “Makers of a sustainable future” defines pretty much everything we do.

Noise steels attention and by stripping away all the unused functionality down to its essential core, not only are you doing the environment a favor but you’re also getting a “Minimal Loveable Product” that users will appreciate a lot more. Not to mention all it will do for your performance and SEO score! Win-Win!

Umbraco is shrinking!

Which is why I was especially happy when I read the breaking changes in the new Umbraco 14 version.

To mention a few examples:

  • Removed AngularJS
  • Removed macros (and partial view macros)
  • Removed unused API routes
  • Removed Nested Content
  • Removed Grid Layout
  • Removed XPath
  • Removed Smidge
  • Removed base class backoffice controllers

Also, by the time of writing this article, when comparing the v14 dev branch to the v13 version, there is almost 400,000 deletions and “only” 150,000 additions in the new version. In other words: Umbraco is shrinking!

Removing functionality is bold and there’s always gonna be a hot potato (such as Macros) that people will be upset about.

It’s much easier to play it safe, keep the rarely used functionality to avoid breaking changes and stepping on any toes. But Umbraco is going the other direction, stripping away the all clutter and focusing on their core offering.

So for this move I applaud you Umbraco! #h5yr! 👏

The Future is Lagom!

In Sweden, we have a word called “Lagom”, which essentially defines our entire being and society. There’s not an English word for Lagom but basically it means “not too much, not too little. Just enough!”. We are often referred to as “The country of Lagom” and it’s often reflected negatively in contrast to the American “More is always better” culture.

But when it comes to building a sustainability future, I would argue that Lagom will play an important role in shaping our future society. We need too push boundaries and develop new functionality that will push our society forward, but we also need to be careful and not add more just for the sake of more and use up all of our planets resources.

Sometimes less is actually more.

Focus on Your Core Values!

Your core values is what defines you as person and what you should be focusing on. If you aren’t sure what your core values are you can use this exercise:

Think of a subject that you care strongly about. Now imagine, in an alternate reality and no matter how absurd it might seem, that the whole world were against you on this subject. Would you still defend it? Would you risk loosing friends and family for defending this belief? Or go to prison for it? Or even risk your life defending this subject or belief? That’s your core value! This is what you should be focusing on in life.

Everything else is just noise.

Dennis Adolfi

Dennis Adolfi is a developer at Knowit, living in Gothenburg, Sweden. He’s been an active member of the Umbraco community for many years writing blog posts & tutorials, hosting events, teaching and helping out in the Umbraco forum, for which he was rewarded MVP in 2016. He’s also an Umbraco Master and he loves Test Driven Development. When he’s not producing code he enjoys making his body super tired by repeatedly lifting heavy things up in the air and then putting them back down again.

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