Simplicity, a common word known by all, but
actually practiced by so few. Why is it so difficult for people to practice
that which is simple? Practicing that which is simple is being true to one’s
most basic values, to those things everyone learns as a child, without any
other points of view, without re-thinking. It’s being black and white, not
gray. It’s not a romantic ideology; we actually can simplify the world around
us and bring back a little serenity in life. Simplifying is getting rid of
excesses, of that which is unnecessary. It’s having desires that can be
expressed in five words, and being truly content with that. It’s having the
focus to realize that everything which is most important is simple, and that
goes for our relationships as well as every other aspect of out lives.
understands that intuitive design, simple choices, and familiarity create a
user-experience that achieves results.
But this is a magazine about technology!
Last week I witnessed an audience being
tortured for 50 minutes, waiting for two female presenters and a group of eager
helpers as they desperately tried to connect a notebook computer with a
projector to make it display on the wall. I’d have preferred a night in jail to
being subjected to that ordeal. Sitting there, I think I learned about 50
different ways to connect a video cable, reboot a computer, and open a Power
Being simple is what the leaders of Apple
always called for; it’s what Jobs repeated as a mantra and inspirationally
“Don’t come to me with problems. I want a
Macbook in a single piece of aluminum!” or, “Don’t ask me about security – it’s
obvious that I want a secure net!”
Ah, yes, I didn’t say that the simple thing
would consequently be the easy thing. Very much to the contrary – in many
cases, simplicity is one exercise in engineering after another, and from that
comes the inspiration to maintain focus on that which really counts, on one’s
origins. We get older and take on the world like engineers, resolving problem
after problem. The happiest people I know are those who haven’t forgotten about
simplicity, exacting happiness from that which really matters, and perceiving
the true value of the things around us.
I believe that the evolutionary level of
our world is measured by our attainment of simplicity, and our ability to
desire, realize, and live the Simple.
From time to time – whether it be through
great catastrophes, wars, or personal dramas like the loss of a loved one, a
serious illness, or the end of a marriage – all of our faith, desires,
thoughts, feelings and energies come back to the things that really matter:
being close to those we love, seeing our children grow up healthy, appreciating
life, time, and the value of family.
Humanity has evolved in a steady forward
march against difficulty. We are compelled onward in a constant drive to
overcome challenges. We are programmed to always be striving towards the next
boundary, and in this way, we’re destined to never really be satisfied. In
these times of so much “technology”, the hurried day-to-day crunch, chaos on
the road, and not being able to attain peace, all we can do is seek that peace
and harmony we so long for in our lives in that which really matters.
We must make it through the chaos of this
technological adolescence, as out means of information and communication
mature, to reach a time when the focus will return to our humanity, our
well-being. We’ll see technology as we know it today disappear, and in its
place we’ll possess the means to bring us closer to those we want to be closer
to, help us be productive no matter where we are, and listen to peaceful music
whenever we want. This is the role that Apple has lead with in the development
of our technology.
In a few decades, Apple will no longer be
an exception. It will be just one among many other companies that will present
us with the magic of simple means by which we really can live better.