Simplicity is overrated

Guillaume Hansali
Guillaume Hansali
Simplicity is overrated
Don't conflate simplicity for truth.

We like simplicity.

It makes us feel smart and safe.

It’s the stroke of genius. The love at first sight.

We even find virtue in simplicity. As Occam's razor states, if two ideas explain the same phenomenon, the simpler has more merit. That makes sense. And so we tend to substitute simplicity for truth.

There’s one problem, though.

Life is not simple. The world is not simple. We are not simple.

A simple idea will always be a reduction. A shortcut. Cut corners.

Be this, do that. Simple advice for complicated people.

Simple ideas are infectious. That doesn't make them good.

They're easy to grasp, easy to share; that’s why they spread.

The danger when we get attached to simple ideas is that we want to make the world fit into them.

That leads to populism and demagoguery. And we know what follows.

We need to get comfortable with complexity.

It shouldn’t be something we run away from. That would be like running away from our lives.

Sometimes, there are simply no simple solutions (see what I just did?)

We need to make peace with not knowing or understanding everything.

Besides, we're not alone. We don't have to grasp the whole picture by ourselves. We have each other. Humility can help.

When we value simplicity above all, we solve the wrong problems.

Next time you find an idea appealing, ask yourself, is it because it’s simple or because it accurately describes your reality? That's rarely both.

Beware simplicity. Don't give it more merit than it really deserves.

Life is complicated. That's what makes it interesting.

Don't chase simplicity. Chase truth.

(you can also follow me on

Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Guillaume Hansali
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
You've successfully subscribed to Guillaume Hansali
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content
Success! Your billing info has been updated
Your billing was not updated