Steve Jobs always displayed the essence of simplicity in everything he did.  Sometimes he took it a little to far, for example when it came to furnishing his house.

There are 3 people I blog stalk at the moment, that take the status quo, and via a combination of instilling focus and striving for simplicity are changing the way people do things in their areas of specialisation.

Stephen Few

Stephen focusses on techniques for visualising data, in ways that are simple and quickly tell a story or give an answer to a question.

He is also good at looking at other peoples visualisations and providing some “feedback” on improvements. A classic example is here.

And I agree with him when he critiques the big BI vendors for their lack of innovation .

Seth Godin

Seth’s blogs and books are the essence in simplicity of conveying a message in as few words as possible to achieve the job(s) of getting the message across (excuse the pun 😉

Like Steve Jobs focussed on removing as many things that weren’t needed from Apples designs, Seth seems to be as ruthless with removing words from his books and blog posts.  But like Apple it works.

The area Seth is focussed on at the moment is to explain to book publishers how their market is radically changing, and like music monopolies, if they don’t try and change their business models they to will see their market being cannibalised by the digital revolution.

If that isnt change I dont know what is.

Rowan Simpson

I had the pleasure of sitting around the corner from Rowan when he was at Xero.  The one thing I remember the most was his complete focus on measurement.

When we wanted to do something he would always say how would we measure success.  Not from a “its a dumb idea”, or “that will never work” but from a “if we dont measure the success of it, how do we know we should do more of it, or change the way we are trying to do it”

After years of training and experience in pre-sales I am definitely down the gut feel end of the spectrum, but these days being part of businesses thriving in consulting, product development and innovation I find im starting to focus on a little more on measurement.

My perfect measurement blend

So in context of measuring success, my perfect blend is a combination of all three of these chaps focus’s:

  1. Make sure we can measure and prove it
  2. Make measurement as simple as possible, with as few (or should that be Godin) parts
  3. And make sure its visualised in a way that is the easiest to view

So from a BI perspective, simplicity in measuring wether we are going where we want to (and think we are) going, can be described via:

The power of one

  • One metric
  • One page
  • One place to go
  • One view

So now I know what I want.

Next we just have to define, design, build and implement it.