Keep It Simple, Stupid

2 min read

Half cut avocado with a pink background

Tim Ferris, an American entrepreneur, shares a question in an interview that he uses to help analyze situations and organize his thoughts:

If this is easy, what would it look like?

The idea is quite simple.

When faced with a problem, how would you solve it in the simplest manner? 🧐

Tim shares how this question helps focus on what really matters. 🔎

Rather than reinventing the wheel, problems can be solved with existing solutions.

It’s like the acronym K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Instead of trying to create an elaborate plan, it frames the problem in a way where we have the end in mind, and we can boil down the solution as simply as possible. Or better yet, we can instantly carry out a solution.

Tim mentions how he uses the question not only to distribute content effectively, but also to help interact with new people. Every single question he asks are simple questions that are surefire ways to get to know people, have them open up, and provide the opportunity for them to share what they value. ex. “What books having you been digging into lately?” 📚

In startups, something similar to this mindset is called “creating an MVP” - a minimal viable product. An MVP is the minimal amount of features you need to create something that solves people’s problems. Though you can create many cool features and work on the aesthetics of a product, the faster you are able to ship something out for people, the easier it is to receive feedback and iterate.

To create something without the overhead of complexity.

Simple, not complicated.

Being able to have this simple heuristic can go a long way. 💪

Tireless hours of work can be avoided. Decisions can be made without hesitation.

Ultimately, a seemingly gigantic problem can be addressed and quickly solved, or broken into smaller parts.

Questions to ponder: 🤔

  • What is something you do meaningfully that is a lot more complicated than it needs to be?

  • What would it look like if that task/process was easy?