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The Laws of Simplicity.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on October 3, 2006

John Maeda’s new book, The Laws of Simplicity, is simply terrific. It’s exactly 100 pages, the illustrations are brilliant and the 10 Laws of Simplicity (plus Three Keys) are a canon to design one’s entire life, much less specific products, services or business models. The subtitle is: Design, Technology, Business, Life.

Maeda works out of MIT’s Media Lab, has a fascinating blog, and is a swell guy (yeah, I like him and his work). For a great conversation with Maeda and Diego Rodriguez, check out Diego’s Metacool blog. By the way, Diego and Bob Sutton were part of the team teaching the Stanford D-school class that came up with business model ideas for Mozilla that was the lead of the design school survey we just did. Thanks guys.

Back to Maeda’s 10 Laws of Simplicity. I won’t give all of them away but my favorites are #3—Time: Savings in time makes everything simpler; #2—Organize: Organization makes a system of many appear few: and #10—The One: Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.

I disagree with John on #4—Learn: Knowledge makes everything simpler. To me, that’s utopian. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Too much can paralyze you. But, that’s me.

If you want to join John and others in conversation about simplicity go this other blog.



Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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