Sunday, May 15, 2011

Simplicity Creates

I think I've finally figured out what I want to do/be when I grow up.

A month or so back I loaded up the game minecraft for the fist time and my life changed forever.

Minecraft is a simple first person 'walker / shooter' type game.  At first glance one would most likely label it as 'childish' or maybe even 'incomplete'.  Both of those labels currently apply, but they also totally miss the point.  The simple fact is that this isn't really a 'game' in the traditional sense.

The reason the game touched me so, and I believe the reason why it has achieved cult-follower status is that it isn't a game: it's a creativity tool.  It will be seen as the first in what I believe will be a whole new generation of software tools, that will eventually unlock an astounding explosion of new creative works. (Hint: I'm busy creating one myself (a software tool that is (which for me is also a creative work))).

But that is almost besides the point.

The real kick in the pants I got from this game was the 'meta-lesson' of how this game/tool achieved what it has achieved.  It's simple.

Thats it.

That was the big 'wow' moment for me.  

People create.  It is what we do that distinguishes us from animals.  It's not language.  It's not culture.  It's not the fact that we walk on two legs.  It's our ability to have two or more ideas bounce around in our central nervous systems and out comes something new.  Most of the new stuff is horrible and doesn't survive.  But every now and then if we bang enough stuff together, something good and and maybe better than anything that previously existed, comes out.

It's all a numbers game.  It isn't magic.  It isn't that some people are 'creative' and others aren't.  It's simply that some people have a desire to improve the world.  That desire leads them to bang stuff together until something good falls out.  The key to creativity is being an efficient banger-togetherer.

This is where simplicity comes into play.  Especially simple tools.  If one is doomed to create a million monstrosities for every something beautiful, then it needs to be as fast and easy to explore the universe of the uglies as possible.

Simple/intuitive things don't take up as much head space, or slow you down. They get out of the way.  If something is truly simple one doesn't even 'think' about it, one is just magically able to quickly do whatever one wants to achieve.  Imagination becomes the only limitation.  Think it and it happens.

So simplicity itself has given my life new purpose and meaning.  I see now that I am and always have been compelled to simplify the world around me.  Now it is time to be more focused and organized about it.  

I've decided I am going to create a company with only one product: simplicity.  I will sell simplicity itself.  I am going to be a simplicity evangelist.  I am going to create simple tools to empower myself and others.  I'm going to provide simple services, and simple goods.  I plan on making a living doing this, but I think the real driver is going to be seeing what cool things other people create.

It is actually quite a relief to finally have an an answer to one of the simplest questions of all time:

I am going to make the world a simpler place.

If you're interested I invite you to join me on the journey.

1 comment:

Doris said...

Wonderful! :-)
(See? You've already inspired me to leave a simple, non-complex comment.)
Also: looking forward to your upcoming speech projects.