Less is More... More or Less...

Let's say you are a person who doesn't use any technology and want to simplify your life by starting to use it. So you buy a mobile phone. Your life is immensely simplified by all the new options suddenly available; being reachable almost anywhere and any time, emergency calls, text messages, etc. Let's say this results in fifty units of simplicity to your life. At the same time, your life, because you started to use that new technology, is a little bit more complicated. You need charge the phone, keep checking your pocket every now and then, update numbers, worry about losing it, and paying bills. Let's say that this complication brings five units of complication to your life. Obviously, you would still get the phone, because fifty is clearly much more than five. You like the exercise, and decide to simplify your life even more. You get a computer. Your life gets seventy units of simplicity, and at the same time adds ten units of complexity. Complexity in your life (at fifteen points) is still bearable, manageable, and worth the simplicity it gets you. Then you foolishly assume that the great simplicity you are gaining will increase forever with every new device you get. So you buy several more devices, adding hundreds of points of simplicity. The problems is that your life can only tolerate a certain number of complexity units, after which your life becomes a nightmare of complexity, defeating the purpose of simplification. The simplest task of going to work becomes a complicated project that you need to manage. You need to have a big bag that has all your devices, with special places of chargers, make sure they are all charged, sync whatever you can sync, make sure all software is up-to-date, put the right wires in place, and not forget any piece of that symphony of difficulty you just created in your life. You cannot simplify without complicating, you cannot strengthen without weakening, and you cannot fortify something without making it more vulnerable. The above example is of something that produces value to your life at an acceptable cost. Most of what is done, though, doesn't event break even in terms of the intended value. More weekly meetings, more people and committees just add complexity and vulnerability and usually make things worse.Basically, when you want to improve something, you need to make sure that the improvement is in multiples and not just breaking even or with a measly 10-15%. You have been warned!