Art of Simplicity


Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” – Confucius

Within business, simplicity is also key. Advertisers determined many years ago that “simplicity communicates”.  The simpler the message, the more likely that it will communicate to the average person, and the more likely that they will remember your product. Complex commercials, without a clear message just don’t make it. The ones that stick in people’s heads are the simple slogans like “967-11-11” (Pizza Pizza), “It’s finger-licking good!” (KFC), or “Let your fingers do the walking” (Yellow Pages).

Simple and Tasteful

In the field of art, “simple” is part of the equation, but the real genius is in being “simple and tasteful”. In music, this would translate into simple melodies with well crafted words. The test of any art form is “longevity”. “Fads” and “trends” are here today, but gone tomorrow. If people still remember you and what you created 50 years or 100 years from now, then you know that you’ve made it. Unfortunately, you might not be around to enjoy your success.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Di Vinci

Simpler Design

Simplicity also hit the IT world and had an effect on both hardware and software. The hardware side might best be personified by “Steve Jobs” and the “Apple” evolution. Steve Jobs has attributed a lot of his success to his study or “Buddhism” and “Zen”. These eastern philosophies instilled in him a desire to strive for simplicity and this resulted in the world which is now dominated by the iPad, the iPhone, and the iMac.

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder then complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. – Steve Jobs

Simpler Programming

In the software world the major change was in the adoption of “object-oriented programming”. This was a major shift from procedural code which previously dominated. Nowadays a programmer’s first task is to define the objects that an application is dealing with, be they “invoices”, “customers”, “products”, “accounts” etc. The next step is to have these objects interact with each other, so that a customer “opens” an account, a clerk “invoices” a customer, and a customer “buys” a product.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” – Albert Einstein

Simplicity in Business

When you’re running a business you also need to seek simplicity and workability. Simple manuals will help to sell your product since customer will understand how your products work. Using colour-coding for forms or worksheets makes selecting the right form an easy task and eliminates confusion. Having a website that is easy to navigate will bring much more traffic to your site. The key for thousands of years has been to find simplicity and incorporate it into what you do. This is definitely one of the main factors in finding success.