simple complicated. complicated simple.


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”


E. F. Schumacher



Making the simple complicated is commonplace.


Making the complicated simple is not commonplace.






In fact. I have almost started believing that they are teaching “how to complicate things” in schools these days.

And even worse? (and this is really nutty)

Say for example you really have been able to articulate something simply AND it is actually so awesomely simple it is brilliant.

You are feeling pretty good with yourself about right now. You were clear, concise and brilliant in simplicity.

(here comes the nutty part)

No one believes its right.

Yup. No shit.

“It cannot be right. That’s too simple. WE MUST BE MISSING SOMETHING.”

(I capitalized it not because when it is said someone is shouting but, rather when you hear it, it sounds like someone shouting in your head and there is a buzzing sound in your ears like a grenade went off beside your head)

You want to look around and calmly say:


“You are correct. Brilliant insight in fact. What’s missing is all the COMPLICATED SHIT YOU WANT TO COMPLICATE THIS WITH.”


(note: on occasion you may actually shout this but on the off chance you don’t you will want to shout it)


Somewhere in the past it became uncool to do something simple.


And since that time (and I would shoot the bastard if I could find him who did it) it seems like we have gained momentum surrounding this concept and not is it uncool to do something simple the majority of people cannot even recognize a simple solution.

Simplicity has gone the way of the Dodo (extinct).

On occasion someone stands up and says “hey, I am not sure Dodos are extinct, I am pretty sure I saw one in that conference room.”

Everyone laughs. “Dodos are extinct.”

“Well, I have seen a picture of one and I am pretty sure it was one.”

Needless to say you either become extinct in the company if you stay the course or worse they throw you into the loony zoo with all the other Dodo sightings.


Here’s the deal.

If you are one of the rare birds who can see simple things as they are (simple), don’t get frustrated. And every time you watch something simple become more complicated just take note and put that thought in a little box for another day.

Because one day you are going to be in a position to tell people what to do. I guarantee it.

How can I guarantee it?

Because you are one of the rare birds who can see the simple within the complex.

It won’t matter how many of these discussions you lose in early years.

Oh, and you really aren’t an extinct bird. Just so rare no one recognizes you.

You will lead one day.

Then you pull out your box and start doing simple things and kicking some ass (just don’t tell anyone you are a Dodo  … probably not a good idea  … let them think you are extinct).

Fun aside.

Lack of simplicity in the business world is probably the biggest issue in business these days. And it is overlooked as everyone focuses on ‘building brands’ and bottom lines and organizational alignment and whatever the business buzzword du jour is.

Shove ‘em off to the side.

The biggest issue facing American businesses today is over complicating simple things.

It’s that simple.

(and no one will believe me)

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Written by Bruce