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January 22, 2005

Simplify and cause changes

Jonathan Schwartz on how blogging is advancing the cult of simplicity -

What is underhyped, in my view, is the impact of blogs on the advancement of simplicity and convenience. The most powerful weapons known to this industry. My friend Adam's long been a proponent of the simple - I could not agree with him more. Simplicity changes the world. Convenience is a force multiplier.

The simplicity of blogs, the convenience of pervasive networks, and an explosion of new content sources - as a combined force, is radically underestimated. And not for its impact on the publishing industry, in specific, but on any industry that finds competitive advantage in the latency of information, or in complexity. From national security to the whole IT industry. Simplicity can be a sustainable competitive advantage. It's becoming more obvious by the day.

Couldn't agree more.  This march of simplicity and convenience is one reason why intellectual forces are feeling more sidelined (some of them have adjusted to this new medium though) than in any other times.  Simplicity invites more participants and in the process is very empowering. By giving to user what they want and that too  in very few steps it expands dialog and lifts the experience to higher levels.

Think of it's implication - Simplicity is a disruptive approach.  As I compare this with what's happening in India, a constant theme emerges.  Lot of simple things in life aren't simple here.  There are frictions everywhere - frictions of inefficiency,  poor infrastructure,  higher transactional cost - both financially and experience-wise. One can use the sword of simplicity to cut through some of these frictions.  Good thing is that  you see lot of new ideas emerging and people working towards it.

Simplification process takes power from those who have spent their time  codifying the trade secrets.  Whether it's the contemptuous view of C++ programmers towards php programmers, mainstream media against bloggers,  Intellectual property hoarders against Open source programmers. Simplification has killed more businesses and spawned more start-ups than we fully appreciate. Take Flickr - it has simplified photo-sharing, Google - it has simplified finding information,  Blogger -simplified publishing.

One can go on and make a list of all industries, business processes and job roles where current theme is complexity.  And then go about simplifying it.  Most of  the technology entrepreneurs do precisely the same thing - removing industry pain.  This time (in Web2.0 context) they will be doing this by removing pains associated with the complex technology implementations as well.

Implications are quite clear - Disruptors are Simplifiers and blogging is one clear example of that.

January 22, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink


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