Simplify and Focus

Simplify and Focus.

‘Simplify and focus’ appears to be a catchphrase for many people who don’t take the time to stop and think about what they mean when they make that request. They want to skip past the need for detail and straight onto the handout. They want the cribbed version, the bullet points. A sound bite. A bullet point.

A lazy approach to life.

It is too complicated, they wail. Can you simplify and focus?

The phrase comes from the man himself, Mr Steve Jobs… who I recognise for his philosophy as much as I do for the excellent products he helped bring to the world.

Simplify and focus. I agree on this as a guiding principle for everything that you try to achieve in life.

But, sometimes… in life, things are not simple, and they can be complex and not focused.

Trying to boil everything down into a couple of sentences is fair enough. As an exercise, it is fun, but don’t tell me the first iPhone was simple.

The end result for the owner was a focused and straightforward user interface on a product that was fresh and easy to use. 

It was relatively simple and focused on getting up and going with your new iPhone.

There is a time for that simplicity, but first, you have to hammer out the detail. The complexity has to come first and then the refinement. To skip past that part of the process where the deep understanding is developed will leave you with something half baked.

Don’t be lazy. Get complicated and detailed first, and then work toward getting simplified and focused.

That was the journey that Steve Jobs was describing. The process is the path to the end result of simplicity and not a stand-alone result to throw around like a buzzword in the hope to sound smart.

‘That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.’

Steve Jobs

Simplify and focus

The Journey was the point, not the point of the Journey.

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