How to keep it simple

white round table near white wall

The easiest thing to do is to make things complex. There is no skill required to make something difficult to understand and handle. Many illustrious people of the past have said they would have created a better or shorter letter, sermon or paper if they had more time since simplifying cost time.

If you don’t have that time, how can you keep things as simple as possible? Besides accepting that ideas do not have to be great, they should not suck.

Think and keep it concrete

Concrete language helps people, especially novices, understand new concepts. Abstraction is the luxury of the expert. If you’ve got to teach an idea to a room full of people, and you aren’t certain what they know, concreteness is the only safe language.

Chip Heath

Always spend more time understanding the problem than working on it when your time is limited. If you don’t know what you are working on and why you are working on it, the chances of keeping it simple (and valuable) are slim.

Ockham’s razor

The explanation that requires the fewest assumptions is usually correct. When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. Keep it obvious and simple, do not overthink or over-engineer and do not make unnecessary assumptions.

Create constraints

One value [from Amazon], frugality, is defined as Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for growing head count, budget size, or fixed expenses.

Ben Horowitz

If you have less time, money, and resources, you cannot afford to make things complex since you cannot maintain them. Not giving yourself the tools to complicate things and constraining yourself might be the most effortless protection from complexity.