Maybe it's the New Year, but a recent tweet from Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Square who's widely known as the creator of Twitter, caught our eye:
"My resolution for the past few years: simplify."— Jack Dorsey (@Jack) January 1, 2012
Jack's been singing that song for awhile, and it's not the first time he's said that. Around this time last year, he was on Charlie Rose, where he talked about making Square's credit card paying app and device simple. Turns out, it wasn't all that simple to make. Here's how Jack put it last year:
It turns out it's really complex.' It's really complex to make something simple.
In the past decade, more and more start-ups have been intensely focused on making their products simple so they can stand-out from their competitors. After all, who doesn't want to make a product simple and easy to use? However, it's easy to take a surface approach, mistakenly thinking that a simple product isn't complicated to create.
Remember what it took to create a balloon? Hardly simple, right? Here's another example: the puzzle game Bejeweled 2. The game play is simple, just move and swap the gems to match three like gems. Under the hood, however, is another story.
Take a look at this video from the folks at Penny Arcade. Once the video starts playing, fast forward to about 2:08 and you'll notice all the steps it takes to move a player from one level to another.
Not so simple after all, is it? Yet the player is never once aware of the complexity behind building such a simple game. Which brings us back to Jack Dorsey, who says in his interview with Charlie Rose that the best products are the ones that vanish in the hands of users, where they're not even aware of the complexity behind it.