It’s Complex

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo da Vinci

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than 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

Simple is hard. Trying to go from complex to simple is even harder. Simple is the reason why every time we hear of an amazing idea we think “Oh! why didn’t I think of that!!”

A good idea becomes an extraordinary one when you can hide complexity behind simple understanding. We don’t get rid of the complexity, we just add a layer above it that allows more people to quickly grasp its meaning and take advantage of its insights and use.

Simplicity should level the playing field while also spark curiosity into the hearts of those who crave a little more deeper understanding. It doesn’t take a genius to drive a car, but it does take someone smart to build one, a genius for the car to build itself and a group of geniuses for it to drive itself.

Simplicity is the frontline to imagination and insight. The best work (and teachers) in the world comes from the ability to take complexity and make it exciting and tangible.

You can see this everywhere. Flip to the back of any nonfiction book and see the massive chunk of pages taken up by references and notes used to simplify the central ideas and narrative of the book. Watch an athlete or olympian accomplish an amazing feat and make it look easy (except when you try it yourself and see how difficult it actually is).

Again, easier said than done. In order to create work that is easily understood, we have to go to great lengths to peel back layers and layers of complexity, while also not losing our beginner’s mind, meaning, our ability to take what we know and distill it down into something elegantly simple.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #710

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