Chasing Simplicity

This post is by Giff Constable from

In product, we swim in complexity, which is why it’s essential to seek simplicity wherever we can. If we accept or even indulge in complexity, I’m convinced it will show up in your product in unintended ways (not unlike Conway’s Law).

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to chase simplicity:

Your strategy: have you boiled your company (and/or team) strategy down to 5 or fewer key decision making principles that make it easier for everyone to know when to say yes, when to say no, and why? If this work is done at the top, everything else becomes easier.

Your metrics: have you narrowed down to just a handful of most-important metrics to track? Have you made sure that everyone knows why these particular ones and how to follow along?

Your processes: have you sought to cut out unnecessary formality (and dogma) and process steps in order to foster human interactions, common sense, and minimum viable documentation? Have you sought a more continuous flow?

Your language: have you sought to reduce the amount of jargon you speak, whether about tech or your industry, and instead opted for plain, practical language? Your jargon and acronyms might sound smart, and can certainly be fun and even efficient, but it’s an indulgence that hurts, not helps you, especially when dealing with people outside of the prod-eng inner team.

Your communication: have you thought about simpler but still effective ways to reach “shared understanding” with your colleagues (Read more...)