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Justin Wright

Monday Velocity - Simplicity Wins

published4 months ago
1 min read

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Simplicity Wins

Something I've taken to heart in recent years is "perfect is the enemy of good," a quote often attributed to Voltaire. The obvious meaning is that focusing on perfection will create more problems than it solves. Perfectionism causes people with otherwise great ideas to live an unfulfilled life.

There is another, deeper meaning behind this quote that is sometimes harder to recognize: perfectionism leads to unnecessary complexity. Added complexity is almost always problematic. There is a well-known theory called Occam's Razor which, in short, states that the most viable solution is often the simplest option.

As human beings we are excellent at finding patterns that don't exist, coming up with novel and complex solutions to otherwise simple problems, and generally mucking things up. There's a reason that phrases like "hiding in plain sight" are so common in English language.

Simplicity combined with speed is an even more potent combination. If you are looking to solve problems, create things, build the future, or even just improve your own life, finding simple approaches and iterating quickly is your best recipe for success. Try something, see if it works, throw out what doesn't and keep what does.

As long as your efforts are simple, are "good enough" as opposed to perfect, you will succeed in the end. From a purely statistical perspective, taking more shots will lead to more opportunity. Complexity reduces the likelihood that you will cross the finish line. In the end, simplicity wins.


Hit List

The most interesting things I've encountered this week

What I'm reading: "Mamba Mentality" by Tyler Brandt

I use Kobe Bryant often as a shining example of what commitment, focus, and hard work can accomplish. He was taken from this world too soon, but there are many lessons we can still learn from his life and career.

For more Kobe: Mamba Mentality autobiography by Kobe Bryant

Kobe's autobiography is profound, and dives deeper into many of the points in the article above. He was truly one of a kind. As an added bonus, this book is free for anyone with Kindle Unlimited.

For more reads: My favorite books on Twitter

I recently put together a thread of some of my favorite books on Twitter. It's by no means an exhaustive list, but contains many of my recent favorites from the last year.


Quote of the week:

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci

When one of history's greatest minds and inventors appreciates the art of simplicity, you know how important it must be. Simplicity is harder for those who are smarter; a sign of true intellect is the ability to explain things simply.