Keith Cowing

Keith Cowing

Product guy. Entrepreneur.
Career advisor. Read bio

Keep it brilliantly simple

January 23, 2014

From The Bourne Identity:

[Jason Bourne designs a complicated plan to extract a copy of a bill from a hotel, he sends Marie in to capture intel and send him a signal]
[Marie returns a moment later]
Jason Bourne: What happened?
Marie: Nothing.
Jason Bourne: Did something go wrong?
Marie: I’ve got the records. This guy at the front desk was smiling at me, so I thought, all this trouble, maybe it’s easier to just ask for them.
Jason Bourne: You have the bill?
Marie: [pulling paper from pocket] He made me a photocopy.
Jason Bourne: [incredulous] You just asked for it?
Marie: I said I was Mr. Kane’s personal assistant.
Jason Bourne: [pause] Oh. Okay. Good thinking.

There were two options in this case. The first was wild, violent, and risky. The second was simple: just ask. It’s amazing how many people take the first option and completely miss the second. The higher your skill level, the more apt you are to miss the simple plan because you’re deeply tempted by challenges.

For the sake of simplicity, I’ll keep this post short. But the point is large – avoid complexity whenever you can. Don’t flex your muscles and solve difficult problems when you don’t have to. Brilliantly simple solutions provide the best results.

Comments

View Archives