Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

Remember Occam’s Razor

At some point years ago when I was still in school, I learned about Occam’s Razor.  A 14th century English Franciscan friar, William of Ockham, is said to have opined about not making things overly complicated when solving problems.  In a nutshell, “the simple solution is almost always the correct one.”  (Wikipedia has considerably more background for anyone interested.) 

I suppose today one would be more likely to describe it as the KISS principle.

Though frequently applied in the world of science and math, communicators and entrepreneurs would be wise to adhere to the same advice.  When communicating with an audience — be it the general public, your customers, or your employees, just be direct, transparent, and honest.  If you’re developing software or hardware, focus less on the elaborately elegant solution and instead develop simple and effective code or designs.  In solving tricky business problems, don’t let the difficulty of the solution match the challenge of the problem; find the most direct path to a solution and take it.

Seven centuries later, the logic holds up.  If you can think of a simple answer, use it.  Remember Occam’s Razor.

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