Competitive Advantages

I’ve been thinking about counterintuitive traits that are not so obvious competitive advantages and why. This is an attempt to list some of them, make sense of it, and reach out to others to find and compile a MECE list such traits.

  1. Willingness to be taken advantage of – This is spectrum ranging from working for free or unfair terms, to stepping down one or many levels to enter a new field / domain altogether.
  2. Things that don’t scale – This includes personally installing apps on users phones 1 at a time, regularly writing blog posts that seem to go nowhere, diligently recording videos on youtube when your channel has just 7 followers.
  3. Embracing failure / rejection

These 3 are the philosophical opposites of

  1. Focus
  2. Discipline
  3. Relentlessness

While the latter three are related to eliminating distractions and non-value adds (Eliminators), the former three are related to creating possibilities (Creators).

The Eliminators help one get better at something, the Creators help one create or discover something new. While Eliminators are obvious, the Creators are counter intuitive. Their significance is the break through / experience and not the success. Success is not assured and hence it is difficult to consider them competitive advantages. However, the payoffs for breakthroughs are exponentially higher when they work. So, 99 failures with 1 breakthrough success will very likely have a higher payoff than 100 assured improvements.

The third set of traits sits at the interstice of the Creators and the Eliminators. It includes

  1. Skeptical Optimism
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  2. Anti-Fragility – Get better irrespective of whether the stimulus is positive or negative
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  3. Multipotentiality / Polymathism
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For the lack of a better word I call these traits the Nurturers. These traits help pull the strings together, maintain balance, keep things sentient. They are the good sense to decide well, which traits will serve well in the present.

The fourth and perhaps the final set of traits exist on another dimension – Spiritual (and sometimes irrational).

These include among others

  1. God Complexes – Examples include the Reality Distortion Fields (Willing things into reality), Beliefs in Karma or own cause
  2. Unflappability
  3. Felicity of language and expression, and timing

These appear to be rare and gifted skills which an exceedingly rare set of individuals possess. I’ve tried to find good research on these topics without much success.

The traits mentioned in this post are competitive advantages when used well. They can be a liability when misguided.

This not a complete list. But a good structure to build on. The ability to fire up the appropriate traits for the appropriate context is key.

On Operations – Business and Life

Operations

Operations management is the set of actions that enable designing and controlling the process of production of an output – usually a good or service that has value for others.

If one’s enterprise is a business, the output is the product – durable, consumable, or service the business produces. The price the customer pays is the proxy for the value she derives from the output.

If one’s enterprise is her own life, how she uses one’s time – usually work, family, and leisure, is the product. Whatever the individual gets in return – joy / grief, contentment / discontent, health / disease, wealth / debt is the value the customer – self, family, or society derives from the product.

Everything that the enterprise does to complete and repeat the cycle of production to value is Operations.

Everything the individual does to complete and repeat the cycle of production to value is Life.

The long winded explanation and comparison was to drive home how important Operations is to the enterprise of business and life. And conversely how damaging to business and life it is not to have an operations based world view.

The Golden Circles

The Why – How – What (by Simon Sinek) and the Be – Do – Have (by Robert Collier) paradigms are a good approach to start looking at an enterprise or life from the operational lens.

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Misconceptions

A common misconception is that

How is operational, wheareas

Why and What are strategic, and by exclusion, non operational.

And that they are compartmentalized.

This is a misconception because discovering the Why and What itself is operational in nature.

One has to go through a series of experiences, trying different things, consciously or sub consciously gathering data, and validating or ruling out assumptions to find the Why and What.

Any Why and What that is not a product of thoughtful deliberation will not survive the first lack of contact with How.

The other misconception is that as one moves through life and time, her focus must shift from the operational to the strategic.

What changes as one goes through life is what operations or tactics to focus on, NOT whether to focus on operations.

Impact

The How is the bridge between the Why and What. It breathes life into the What and keeps the Why relevant.

Conversely not knowing the How is the chasm between the Why and What, between the Goal and the Result.

Embracing the power of operations – the How, profoundly changes the way an enterprise functions and the way an individual lives her life.

Process take precedence over Goals, Consistency takes precedence over Innovation, Hard nosed diligence take precedence over Brilliance.

Well defined, well communicated, and diligently executed processes create bandwidth for new Goals, Innovation, and Brilliance to emerge at the right places, for the right reasons, at the right time.

Conversely, not exploiting the power of operations condemns an enterprise and individual to a rut of frustration and failure.

Business

In the context of business, a great Sales leader must ask (and help articulate answers to) some of the following in addition to Sales specific questions:

  1. How is the organization structured to deliver a sale (from pitch to delivery)?
  2. How do the current and desirable unit economics work?
  3. How is the work force coached to make the sale?
  4. How does the organization deal with constraints it is faced with currently?
  5. How does the current ROI / ROA tree break up for time, money, and people?

A Finance leader must ask questions related to Sales, product, and engineering cycles in addition to budgets, funding, and book keeping; a Human Resources leader must ask questions related to profitability, process, and business success metrics in addition to culture and compensation.

These questions indicate a genuine curiosity to understand how business works. Only when one understands how things work, can she understand key levers, and then attempt to affect or change them.

A failure to care about these questions results in Type 2 errors – saying yes to a bad fit, staying with a bad employee much longer than tolerable, signing a horrible contract, making a terrible acquisition.

For two main reasons.

  1. The focus is mainly on the What and not on the How. So while the goal is clear, the  How isn’t, and the result is seldom achieved.
  2. The process is unidirectional, doesn’t incorporate feedback, and so the How is not clear. eg – a job interview where the organization and the interviewee focus on the interviewee’s what and how, but not on the organization’s or manager’s; or a contract where the customer feels they got a bad deal mid way through the contract.

She who consistently succeeds in business obsesses over the How. She asks the same question over and over to get to the root cause. She breaks down the problem, the opportunity, and the solution in smaller manageable chunks. She constantly plans, acts, checks, and re-calibrates. She continuously improves process and flow.

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ROA tree of hospitality business (Source: Operations Forensics – Richard Lai)

Life

Now juxtapose this with one’s life.

A great liver of life must ask the following questions in addition to Why and What she wants:

  1. How is her current environment (stakeholders and expectations) structured to enable her to reach her goals.
  2. How do the current and desirable unit economics work
  3. How will she train to reach the current goal and level up to the next
  4. How does she deal with constraints she is currently faced with (time, energy and attention or material, emotional and spiritual)
  5. How does the current ROI / ROA tree break up for any endeavor she undertakes

These questions indicate genuine curiosity to understand how life is lived. Only when we understand how to live, can we understand key levers, and then attempt to affect or change life.

A failure to care about these questions causes Type 2 errors – keeping bad company, undertaking terrible work assignments, buying unnecessary things, and acquiring undesirable liabilities.

For two main reasons.

  1. The focus is mainly on the What and not on the How. So while the goal is clear, the  How isn’t and the result is seldom achieved.
  2. The process is unidirectional, doesn’t incorporate feedback, and so the How is not clear. Focusing on the goal without accepting or learning from feedback that life is providing.

She who has a fulfilling life, is clear about the How. She continuously improves self and surrounding in a manner congruent to her How.

This is why one finds highly fulfilled individuals across all strata, geographies, and races. Fulfillment is a function of how one lives life, not of what one has in it.

Concluding

Operations – the How, is the bridge between the Goal and Result.

Focusing on operations is not a prescription to a rigid, fully structured, start – only – when – you – are -fully -ready approach to business or to life.

Rather, it is an acknowledgement that both at work and in life, we have to constantly keep jumping off cliffs. Building a bridge, packing a parachute, and learning how to grow wings increases the odds of a successful landing, and makes the flight smoother and more enjoyable.

Codex Vitae 2017

2017 has been a challenging and rewarding year. This Codex Vitae is my attempt to articulate, catalog, and educe what I’ve learnt. As part of the Codex Vitae, I will list

  1. Important things I learnt
  2. Beliefs and learning that strengthened
  3. Things that I changed my mind about
  4. Books, resources, and people who had an impact
  5. Habits I collected and dropped
  6. Tools I found useful
  7. What lies ahead in 2018

I’ve tried to focus more on underlying principles instead of instances. I’ve tried to provide links, references, and acknowledgements wherever appropriate. However, please point out any additions necessary. I’d love to hear back from you.

1. Things I learnt

1. Compounding – Financial compounding is common knowledge, but the big eureka  was that compounding is a universal phenomenon. Applies to everything.

Business and technology (Virality – social networks, platform businesses, Moore’s law, Swanson’s law et al), Health and disease (elimination of almost all deadly diseases, how cancer spreads), and Art and entertainment among others.

The best form of compounding is interdisciplinary learning – principles of physics used to understand and solve problems of biology or business or the discipline of daily exercise impacting discipline of thought and efficiency at work. The universality of compounding as a principle is simply amazing. And as with financial compounding, the sooner one starts, the better.

2. Discipline – Focus on my own health in 2017 led to this learning. I’ve been moderately disciplined with circumstance based on and off in many aspects of life. But this year I started viewing discipline as a tool of freedom. I’d like to bifurcate this into two.

First – discipline of action (physical rituals –  exercise, sleep, food, hygiene et al; personal rituals – family time, reading, writing, running errands et al; and professional rituals – planning, doing, documenting, reporting, following up, escalating et al). This is more or less like having a checklist and checking it off diligently. This is a habit forming mechanism.

Second – discipline of thought. And it is manifested in more than one form – Focus, CompressionSimplicity among others.

Both types of discipline require one to resolutely and consistently do things irrespective of whether one wants to or not, irrespective of what the obstacle is, and therein lies its compounding power. The results are staggering but most people don’t stay the course and in turn don’t get to see the results.

3. Environment – A big part of success is having the self-awareness & discipline to change your environment to one that will allow you to succeed. (I learnt this as part of my effort to get healthier and read more this year. Living alone in a foreign city, having fewer distractions and personal responsibilities, more control over the type of food I ate, living close enough to walk to and from work had a lot to do with it.) However, this is very difficult to learn till one experiences it. The fish is the last to discover water. But once you discover it, it feels like having a whole new super power, like X Ray vision. The earlier invisible obstacles show themselves and one can now do something about it.

Managing environment pro-actively is possibly the biggest enabler or disabler of any change that one wants to foster within one’s own life or organization.

4. Inversion – It is important to invert everything. From Jeff Bezos’s focus on what will not change in the next 10 years, to Munger’s All I want to know is where I’ll die so I’ll never go there, to the Allied Forces’ world war two B-17s are examples of how re-framing the problem shifts the thought process and solution.

Asking inverted questions like What will one NOT develop / sell / buy / produce / consume / do, What are one’s fears (as opposed to goals), What de-motivates people (as opposed to what motivates them) is a powerful tool that is seldom used.

5. Wandering – I started training in theatre sports with BATS Improv and after more than a decade of developing software, studying business management, and running businesses, Improv made me realize how much my mind is addicted to structure and how wonderful (and equally important) it is to regularly cavort with carefree cavalier cues.

2. Beliefs and learning that were strengthened in 2017

1. Discomfort and Gratitude – A good life is one that is simultaneously uncomfortable and grateful. Discomfort is where growth happens, gratitude is where happiness and possibilities are born.

2. Tough love (with kindness) – Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. One must be hard on oneself as well as on others. Expectations should be set high and below par performance should be called out and remedied.

The way to do this is to separate the issue and the individual. Be tough on the issue, kind to the individual. Don’t tolerate mediocrity.

Most people cannot separate the person and the issue.  So they can neither give nor accept tough love.

Being able to give and accept tough love is a competitive advantage.

3. Contrarian thinking – From investing, to running businesses, it is important to understand contrarian view points and then make decisions. Else we’re very likely going to be victims of our own biases.

4. Simplicity – Complexity is a tax. Simplicity is a rebate. Applies everywhere.

3. Things I’ve changed my mind about

1. Being objective and rational – I’m an Objectivist. The truth is the truth and nothing else matters. But the older I get, the more I interact with people, the more I realize that Ayn Rand’s villains are real but her heroes cannot function in isolation, and that addressing emotions before rationality is important.

While negotiating a fund raise, job offer, customer contract, or managing the tantrum of a 2 year old, emotions have to be addressed first. In the heat of the moment, people don’t want to know what is right or wrong. They want to be heard, taken care of, and validated.

Context, confidence, and compassion, as and when needed, must precede the rational dialogue for it to be successful.

2. Language of tough love – I used to think that anger was a necessary emotion to communicate tough love. I’ve realized that disappointment is a much more effective emotion and silence a much more effective tool.

Anger can alienate if the intent is not clear to or understood by the receiver. It prevents from arriving at a solution.

3. Time management – Time may be the most precious and non renewable resource available to us. However, energy is the tool we’ve been given to use the resource and attention determines the purpose the resource is used for.

Attention, Energy, and Time must be managed as well; in that order.

Earlier my focus was solely on time management. This has significantly changed how I approach multi tasking, delegation, and physical functions like sleep, exercise, and nutrition.

4. Definition of Great – I’ve gone from being a votary of Scale to a proponent of  Awesome.

Scale comes later as a by product, scale must be a choice not forced.

Work should vitalize self, team, customers, and owners in that order, not the other way round.

5. Not engaging with trolls – Some trolls are harmless and some are dangerous. The harmless trolls must be ignored zealously, the dangerous ones must be taken down just as actively.

Not taking down trolls and rabble rousers permits and encourages other trolls. It promotes bad behaviour, be it an organization or a country.

I still don’t have a playbook for how to do that. I don’t think anyone in the world knows how to do that. But too much irreparable damage happens when they aren’t.

4. People, Books, and resources who had an impact

1. The Farnam Street Blog and its curator Shane Parrish top this list by a mile. I will go out on a limb that everything that you read in this post has already been covered by Shane on the Farnam Street blog. The work that he does is encyclopedic and exhaustive. Cannot thank him enough.

2. @aarjav for being a coach on how startups work, fundraising, sales, and how optimism engenders possibilities.

3. Ashok Sharma for giving me some real sane advice during a particularly difficult and complicated period earlier in the year.

4. @naval for the knowledge he shared on the many podcasts he was interviewed on. His podcast with Shane Parrish on the Knowledge Project was what got me started. And @tferriss for interviewing amazing folks like Naval and encapsulating the knowledge in his books and podcasts.

5. @adammgrant Almost everything I read or encountered in 2017 in some way represented his work. His books The Originals, Give and Take, and Option B are best sellers and widely quoted in many books I read this year.

6. Vala Afshar (primer on privilege), Shalane Flanagan (leadership and individuality), and Ta-Nehisi Coates (privilege, racism, equality) for the wonderful slices of life they presented.

7. @imVkohli for his philosophy of “If I work 120% every day of my life, I’m answerable to no one”.

8. Last, but possibly the most important, my cousin Tejas Bhai who taught me the value of family and how it is more important than everything else in life.

9. Books –  Between Parent and Child, Zero to One, Mastery (by Robert Greene), Switch, The Heart of Haiku, and Small Giants were the best Non fiction I read (or re-read) this year. Seveneves was the best Fiction. 13 Reasons Why and A Thousand Splendid Suns (stopped mid way and kept it aside because I couldn’t handle that shit) were the most disturbing books that I read this year.

5. Habits I picked and dropped (or tried dropping)

1. Reading – I was a moderate reader before 2017. In 2017, I read 55 very interesting and rewarding books. I started reading another 11 but did not follow them through to completion. I’m almost always reading or listening to an audio book or podcast when I’m not focusing on something else that is more important.

2. Exercise – A heart attack in the family, the realization that health is intricately linked with time and my ability to use it well, and a resolve to end a 6 year old chronic backache has resulted in a very disciplined effort here. Swimming works best for me. When it gets too cold, I hit the gym.

3. Sugar – Not over it yet. However, I can now avoid sugar successfully for periods of up to four weeks. Stressful, long work days, days of inadequate sleep coupled with easy access to sugar can still interfere with the will power. Also, diet colas and sugar free sweeteners like erythritol help when craving strikes.

4. Anger – Reading Between Parent and Child changed my view on anger and taught me how to express anger in a more civil and objective way. I still lose it at times when I think someone is being really stupid or insensitive. But I do try to express anger differently.

6. Tools I found useful

1. Notes – I take copious short sentence notes whenever I’m reading or going through something interesting (I even document my fights). Google Keep works best for me for that purpose.

2. Wireless Noise cancelling head phones. Great for listening to audio books or podcasts while commuting or exercising. Lose the wires, get noise canceling; you’ll notice the difference only when you experience it.

3. Calorie and physical activity tracking. Myfitnesspal and the Apple watch are fantastic tools for self quantifiers. Cannot recommend them highly enough. The caveat though is that both require tremendous discipline of regularly data recording and actual physical activity respectively to be effective.

4. Personal Audits – Having a simple personal goal sheet, auditing it regularly, and pivoting depending on results, circumstances, and changes in aspirations helps. Always decide Next Steps for any action / goal that is important and not yet complete.

  7. What lies ahead in 2018

1. Fatherhood – My daughter and wife have spent the better part of 2017 away from me. I will endeavor to be a more present (preferably omnipresent) father and a more supportive (equal partner in the heavy lifting) husband.

2. Writing and Teaching – As rewarding as it has been, reading is still a view of another man’s game from the stadium, not one’s own game. Taking time to ruminate, structure, reshape, and write, is more advanced, satisfying, and intimate way of internalizing life’s offering and pursuits. Teaching is the next level in that direction. I’m going to focus more on writing and teaching in 2018. Hope to post more frequently on this blog instead of what currently is an annual ritual.

3. Predicting – This is an attempt, improve second order thinking, and build mental, emotional, and financial moats. If done well and successful at any level, this will be the result of having done the work required to have an opinion. Will include Investing, making life decisions, and nudging folks in certain directions among other things.

4. Technology – 2017, while teaching me the fundamental models of life, has also made me cognizant that technology is advancing at a blistering pace. Getting left behind or keeping pace is a choice we all will make. I intend to technically master one technology that I believe will be instrumental in shaping our future. Obvious choices look like Blockchain, Machine Learning, Autonomous driving. Will consider the not so obvious as well.

5. Network – As an introvert, I think that active networking is useless. To me the best way to build a network is to be of value to others and actively distribute that value, like putting out ripples in the Universe. Currently I’m doing a terrible job of it outside work. Would really like to do better here.

Wishing everyone a fulfilling 2018.

The Marginal Cost Mistake

The Marginal Cost Mistake is a concept articulated in How will you measure your life by Dr. Clayton Christensen. A very simple yet powerful construct, it states that it is easier to adhere to / live up to something 100% of the time than it is to do it say 96% of the time or 90% of the time.

Let me give you an example. It is easier to tell the truth 100% of the time than it is to selectively be truthful. It is easier to exercise or write everyday than it is to give yourself a 3 day break and then come back. This is because our mind uses the allowance and legitimacy of the smaller folly to justify its occurrence the next time and the time after that and the time after that. It just builds up and is a slippery slope from there on.

Sometimes the coming back takes till the end of the year instead of 3 days when someone accidentally follows your blog or you decide to do a year end review because there’s no one around at the work place.

So here we are, after 10 months of paying for the marginal cost mistake, trying to rev up the virtuous cycle once again.

Its not as if the last 10 months were a complete waste.

Spent some of my best days with my daughter (with a disproportionately large amount of help from my wife, mother, and in laws) as she started getting acquainted with the slightly higher abstractions of life (like walking, talking, exploring, playing, and understanding The Force).

Helped create something really awesome with my erstwhile employer. Then did something really adventurous by changing jobs, moving city and country.

Am currently at 16 amazing books read during the year (18 including the ones I’m currently reading, and 22 including the ones I started but abandoned mid way and will probably start again in 2017). And although this blog stuttered a bit, my fatherhood blog is still going strong.

I’m grateful to everyone I’ve met this year and to life in general, but I’m particularly thankful to Prasad for following this blog. I wouldn’t have gotten back to it had it not been for the ‘Your blog has a new follower’ notification that came my way.

As we move towards the end of another calendar year, my resolve is to avoid the marginal cost mistake like the plague in 2017. And in my relentless quest for simplification and getting better at life, I’ve been asking a question to those who matter the most to me ‘If you would want me to pick one goal for 2017, what would it be?

The replies have been fascinating. Not only from the point of view of their utility, but also the motivations and thought processes and decision algorithms they come from. And while most are in line with what I have on my list, it is more important for me decide my one goal for the year and concentrate on it.

What is yours?

The Power of Humdrum

I’ve been making Cottage Cheese (Paneer) at home everyday the last few days. Started doing it after I discovered on the net that it is one of the best sources of protein. The thing about making Paneer is that it can be made using various methods, by adding different things to milk, at different temperatures, and doing different things post that.

But the humdrum act of making Paneer daily has a very calming and soothing effect on me. Prima facie, it looks like a waste of time. However, there is tremendous creative satisfaction I derive from this act.

And now my head is bubbling with ideas. Can I make Chocolate Paneer or Pineapple Paneer? Can I make normal cheese at home? Can I make cream cheese and then make the ultimate item ever made – Blueberry Cheese cake at home? Can I create an entirely different coagulated gooey food altogether?

While I’m nowhere near to mastering the art or science of cheese making, making Paneer did have its Aha moment.

Doing the same thing again and again, gives you a certain level of expertise or skill. When it becomes something that does not require any mind space or mental bandwidth, that is when the wild ideas start flowing.

Reminds me of ShuHaRi – “first learn, then detach, and finally transcend.”

Sometimes to be creative, one must connect dots sitting on a plane. Sometimes, one needs to know the plane intimately enough before one can know where it ends and where another begins so that one can transcend to connect dots from two different planes.

Things to write about (and read)

I’d like to develop theories or find some real good, solid, concrete research on the following aspects of human behaviour (in no particular order) :

  1. Balancing concern for people with concern for performance
  2. Overcoming mental barriers and biases of past experiences
  3. Knowing when to Quit
  4. Extreme Focus: How to achieve it and whether it is a good thing
  5. Figuring how how much is too much or too little (doing, getting, keeping)
  6. Decision making principles to learn and to teach children
  7. Dealing with physical pain and impact of chronic ailments on life and performance

Will keep adding more to this list. Any reading advice is welcome.

Lessons from Kabaddi

Kabaddi is an ancient Indian contact sport that is like no other game ever invented. The only thing needed to play this game are the players, even half a court will suffice to be able to play, and last but not the least, the points system where both offense and defense have the opportunity to earn points during the same play.

This last part is really intriguing since it is unlike most situations that one faces in life or business.

But it is also a great management lesson. Anyone who is defending turf or is struggling in life, still needs to be aggressive in his / her intent, even in the most dire of situations.That is the only way to change fortunes. Else one will lose sight of all possibilities and become a victim of circumstance.

#ProKabaddi #LePanga

The One

What is the one principle, belief, lesson, theory, advice, or whatever you call it that is the north star of your life? The one thing that you hold on to dearly while approaching and living life?

Can’ be 10, can’t be 5. I want the most important one.

For me it is the realization that

One’s present is not a prisoner of one’s past. It is the custodian of the possibilities one sees for oneself and in turn the opportunity to realize those possibilities.

At any point in life it is possible to let the past be, and not allow it to dictate the future one chooses for oneself.

This one lesson has changed my consciousness irrevocably.

What’s yours?

The Niche

I’ve had reason to have my graduate degree transcripts made recently. It has been 13 years since I earned my bachelors degree and my engineering school does not have a clear well defined process for cases like mine.

The other issue is that of time and physical proximity to the school. Both are a problem for me.

This led me to the discovery of allindiatranscripts.com. This is a niche service that does all the work for you and delivers your transcripts at your doorstep. It is pricey, but for folks who are time and mind space poor, the money is a secondary consideration. Am not sure how well this business is doing, and what kind of potential it has for growth, but my first thought was ‘Wow! What a wonderful niche to exploit.’

The Niche is critical to the success of any endeavour. Be it an organisation or an individual. I work with a corporation that has built a large part of its 17 Bn USD fortune on the Niche of ‘Mighty Muscular, Rugged, Off Road worthy’ vehicles.

Niches are important for two reasons. First, the target segment is so small to start with that there won’t be a large incumbent interested in it. This gives the business some breathing space and time to establish itself. Second, since it is a niche, it is a rare service or offering which makes it stand out from the crowd and helps generate a positive word of mouth so long as the offering is great.

Am going to spend the better part of this month looking for more Niches and making sense of / tearing them apart. Tinder for Board Games, anyone?

 

Simplicity

I spend a great deal of time trying to make things, work, interactions, and life simple for myself and everyone who is part of my life.

This book by John Maeda that I just read is a great resource and ready reckoner for anyone who wants to understand and imbibe simplicity.

The 10 Laws and 3 Keys are as follows:

Laws

  1. Reduce: The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction
  2. Organise: Organization makes a system of many appear fewer
  3. Time: Savings in time feel like simplicity
  4. Learn: Knowledge makes everything simpler
  5. Differences: Simplicity and complexity need each other
  6. Context: What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral
  7. Emotion: More emotions are better than less
  8. Trust: In simplicity we trust
  9. Failure: Some things can never be made simpler
  10. The One: Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful

Keys

  1. Away: More appears less by simply moving it far far away
  2. Open: Openness simplifies complexity
  3. Power: Use less, gain more