You’ve probably heard of the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principle. Simplicity is tough, and no one likes to be called stupid, so this rule gets broken… a lot. It makes so much sense—and I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone openly disagree—but those are words, and words are easy. When it comes down to it, simple is difficult, so it’s usually avoided.
Simple is even harder in a group.
If there are five people in a group, and each person gets at least a little of what they want, then it’s easier for everyone to agree. However, simple dictates that everyone supports a single, focused idea—all or nothing. Each addition and request pushes simple further away.
Simple needs very little introduction.
If you have to spend a lot of time explaining an idea, it’s not simple. Simple moves quickly, is understood easily, and doesn’t carry a lot of baggage.
Simple looks easy.
If you’ve seen an great ad, or read a brilliant quote, or experienced a wonderful piece of art… most of the time, it’s simple. It’s simple in the way that leaves a lot of people saying, “Hey, that makes sense. I could’ve done that.” But copying is easy. Simple never is.
Look at any good commercial you’ve seen, or even a cool magic trick, in terms of simplicity. Ever had the magician explain to you their trick? Ever seen a great commercial that asked you to go to their web site for further explanation? The beauty of simplicity gets bogged down when there’s too much information. Simple stays focused, and doesn’t get distracted.
These thoughts were driven by a web video I’ve seen going around these last few months.Take a look and tell me: Simple?
As my 14-year-old daughter said while watching: “Random grapefruit.”