The Virtue Of Simplicity

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Leadership | No Comments

Simplicity is a core value of mine. I’ve written before about the difference between easy and simple, as well as the idea of a “good simple,” which exists on the “other side” of complexity. But for me, simplicity is quickly becoming more than an interesting notion to think about.

Small spoiler alert: “Simplicity” is one of The 4 Disciplines Of A Healthy Startup Culture, which I’ll be talking about at IdeaMensch LA next week.

Clearly, there’s a difference between saying something is an “individual value” and recommending others adopt it. What made me cross this line?

The more I interact with business leaders, the more I learn about the changes happening in the world of work, and the more I personally experience the increasing complexity of my own life, the more I become convinced that simplicity is more than something “nice to have.”

Mastering simplicity is quickly becoming a categorical imperative for greatness.

The reason why this is happening is fairly simple, and has to do with scarcity and demand. As complexity increases, simplicity decreases — we feel this happening all around us. This means the inherent value of simplicity is skyrocketing.

In this new chaotic marketplace, we are weary of more complexity. Most of us are already filled to the brim with everything we can handle. This means…

Unless your product or service makes my life more simple, I really don’t have space for it.

Of course, the problem with this is that real simplicity is almost impossibly difficult. (If it weren’t, there’d be more than one Apple, Inc.) It requires a culture of immense discipline.

Is this the kind of culture you’re creating at work?

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If you liked that post, then try these…

Productivity Stats by Josh Allan Dykstra on March 5th, 2009

10,000 Hours Is Missing The Point by Josh Allan Dykstra on November 9th, 2009

The Work I Do—And Why It’s Not “Soft” by Josh Allan Dykstra on May 12th, 2016

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