When simple fails, you can fix it.
Complicated things work.
Some of them, like computer processor chips, are amazing. They perform tasks that are otherwise impossible and quickly. Their problem is they are digital. 1 or 0.
They work or they don’t.
Simple things work too
Simple may not be able to do the tasks as well or as quickly. In theory, anything you can do with a computer, you can do with a pencil, just not soon enough to matter. Pencils are not digital.
If one breaks, we can easily see the problem and can repair it. Pencils are cheap. If necessary another one can replace the broken one.
Simple things permit variation.
New information or procedures do not prevent action. Minor variations sometimes provide insight or show new ways to use the old tools.
Complicated things are more rigid.
If the input at hand is not anticipated, it will be rejected. If a computer expects a number, it will not accept a name.
Businesses are complex but successful ones have simple organizing principles.
Apple, Costco, Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, Google, Ebay, and Berkshire Hathaway could each tell you what their fundamental principle is. Speed, quality, innovation, people, value, reliability, and more, are among the choices.
A bank would probably place innovative lower on its list than Apple would.
Life is complex
Do not add complexity to your plans unless it serves a necessary purpose. Do the simple stuff until it can’t do the task.
- You don’t need complex investments to reach your retirement goals.
- You should assess and manage real risk like death and disability
- You should not anticipate miracles happening.
Most complexity is artifice used to sell you something. Be smarter than that.
A thing should be a simple as possible, but no simpler.
Learn to use complexity for a clear purpose.
Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario. In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.
Please be in touch if I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 866-285-7772