What is breakthrough simplicity?

I believe in simplicity as a philosophy, a guiding principle and a way of life. Simplicity is the essence of the golden rule. Everyone wants to understand what is being offered to or expected of them, and simplicity helps make that clear. It calls for clear, timely communication through useful products and services, without hidden fees, traps and arcane provisions.

Simplicity has been the foundation and focus of my entire career, and I recently co-authored a book, Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity, with Alan Siegel. He and I have worked together for over thirty years to help businesses and organizations around the world simplify—to streamline products, services, processes and communications.

In the book, we champion simplicity as a competitive advantage and a consumer right. We discuss how having empathy, striving for clarity and distilling the message can reduce the distance between company and customer, hospital and patient, government and citizen—and increase the bottom line.

In Simple, we lay the foundation for organizations that want to enhance customer experience as a way to drive business results. We examine the best and worst practices of an array of organizations large and small, and recast simplicity as a mindset, a design aesthetic and a writing technique.

We will post excerpts from the book to share success stories, to discuss relevant consumer research and point out where complexity and confusion still lurk. We hope that you will also contribute experiences that delight you with unexpected clarity, transparency and responsiveness. Tweet and blog about hassle-free refunds, letters that tell you how and when to reply and one-page contracts you can sign without a bevy of lawyers. The more simplicity is cherished, touted and praised, the faster we will break the curse of complexity.