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BIG’s Blog:  KISS

Keep It Simple Stupid … the KISS Principle.

If you Google “consider the ant,” it takes you to Proverbs 6:6. The admonition of this proverb is comparing sluggards who waste their time to the ants who store away in-season for the times when no provision is available.

But I want to make another point about “consider the ants.” As Eugene Eric Kim, an expert in online collaboration has written, “They (ants) do two things really well: haul things and then leave trails.” Literally, the entire success of every ant colony on earth flows from the inborn nature of ants to do those two things really, really well.

Ants are a phenomenal example of the KISS principle.

People, on the other hand tend toward complexity. We may say we like simple, but most of us take the simple and make it complex. In fact, I would argue that our neocortex (our Homo Sapien brain), that only we have, defaults to complexity. How else to explain our inner drive to take that which is simple and make it unnecessarily complex?

Of course we rationalize our behavior (another manifestation of our neocortex) by convincing ourselves that “it really isn’t simple, it’s really very complicated.” And why do we do this? Because in the beginning of learning about anything, it is new to us, and anything new is somewhat complicated until we have figured it out.

Our mistake is not recalibrating as we learn. Instead of taking what we have learned and simplifying it down to its essence, we tend to go the other direction and needlessly complicate, rather than simplify.

But the really great minds do just the opposite (E=MC2).

Some agencies and a few consultants are known for their ability to simplify. They are the great ones we know are smart, because they can explain something we’ve never heard of and understand it the first time. 

As a friend of mine once pointed out to me, “Listen for the ability to state the obvious, if you hear it, run!”

What he was really saying is that when he listens to someone explaining something to him for the first time, what is going through his mind is, “I’m as smart as you, maybe smarter. And you, by your dense explanations are A) demonstrating what you think of my intelligence, and B) clearly explaining to me your level of intelligence, of which I am not impressed.” 

And my friend said this to me before the advent of the Internet, where anything is a click away.

In the Internet world, no one has a corner on knowledge… everyone has access.

Hire smart employees, consultants, and agencies.

They’re the ones who can KISS.

 

Drip, Drip, Drip.

-Mike

Welcome to BIG’s Blog!  Please feel free to forward this post to your friends and coworkers…and email me a comment at: mike@big-db.com

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