The Simplicity Cycle
May 12, 2015
Dan Ward provides readers with a roadmap for designing new products, services, and business models, and shows them how to avoid overcomplexity in the process.
From award-winning engineer, military technology expert, and author of F.I.R.E., Dan Ward provides readers with a roadmap for designing winning new products, services, and business models and shows them how to avoid complexity-related pitfalls in the process. The Simplicity Cycle: A Field Guide to Making Things Better Without Making Them Worse (on sale May 12, 2015) is a simple book about a complex topic, but don't be fooled. Beneath the simplicity lies a deep and profound message. Complexity is often necessary, but unnecessary complexity complicates our lives. This book provides the secret to striking the proper balance.
We all create new things, every
day. Whether composing an email, cooking a meal, or constructing the Mars Rover,
making things is part of being human. The Simplicity Cycle shines a light on how complexity affects the things we
make for good or ill, taking us on a journey through the process of making
things, with a particular focus on identifying and avoiding complexity-related
Ward explains how the standard development process involves increasing complexity to increase the outcome (after all, a system with zero complexity does nothing). The problem comes when the complexity starts getting in the way, but we often don't know where that point is until we pass it. Ward suggests a number of techniques, from removing components and testing the system without them, to reconceptionalizing important aspects of the system. They may sound simple, but are often bitterly rejected by those who think complexity and quality are one in the same. Lucidly and effortlessly, Ward shows us how we can make things that are simple, elegant, and effective.
With bright, accessible prose, and his trademark mix of examples from research, personal experience, and pop culture, Dan Ward offers a universal concept, visually described with a single, evolving diagram (a simple one of course!). The Simplicity Cycle is a quick and easy read meant to simplify our lives as we turn its pages. With its technical foundation, it will appeal directly to business leaders, engineers, computer programmers, and other technologists, but its concept is applicable to everyday life, offering an easy-to-grasp notion for simplifying and improving whatever we do, whether we work in an office, at home with the kids, or at the Pentagon.