Simplicity — the stepfather of execution

Many times I have come up with complex, uber-effective plans.

If these were implemented plans, I had only to worry about the size and number of goals that we accomplished.
 Yet, that is not how you get people to act.

You get people to do a lot of things if you make tasks overly simple.

Complexity is the enemy of execution but without complexity, there is often no meaningful execution. Complexity gives birth to execution but its mother has to divorce complexity and marry simplicity.

If you want to get people to act, make things overly simple for them.

I now realized ‘t is better to have simple, imperfect plans than complex, perfect and not implemented plans.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to let go of ideals and perfects but it’s easier to live with implemented plans than suffer under non-implementation.

We see a growing complexity in the world and it’s getting beyond our capabilities to handle. Tens of millions of lines of code make an operating system and nobody knows what code does what. That explains why Microsoft still has some bugs that have been there for years. It’s not that engineers don’t want to solve them, they just cannot find the code that causes them. Among millions of lines of code operating in the same environment, nobody has a clue.

It gets worse with web browsers. First, web browsers were an invention for scientists to share papers. It was not a mini-operating system that executes scripts safely, as it should have been. It was a text protocol that was just not made for websites as we know them today.

Today’s web needs to be rich. Not in content but in functionality. Thus, we have major issues to work around the limitations that were imposed upon us by the founders of the web browsers. It all gets a lot more complex than it needs to be. Google has added extension support, Mozilla Firefox has added plugins but in a simpler world, we had HyperCard and there was no need for these.

HyperCard is a thing of the past and it is not to be reinvented but we can learn from its simplicity and there is a lot to learn from it. Is it possible to change the world today? I think so.

Things should be as simple as they can be but not simpler. Certainly. We are living in a very complex world. Our technology is outdated. People operate from the wrong context and making things simpler will cause them to switch to your solution that is 10x better. People have switched to these browsers before. There have been browsers before Chrome and Mozilla.

Will we rely on the same model of the web in 30 years(2047)? I would be ashamed to be human if that were the case.

There is room for more simplicity and truly powerful apps. A truly powerful internet that anyone can contribute to, not only in terms of content but maybe also in terms of function.


Originally published at Erwin Flaming.