The Hardest Thing Is To Be Easily Understood
The hardest thing in the world is to explain something so simply that someone “gets it” the first time. This is especially true of technology and Web 2.0. New media is especially confusing because original ideas are created at lightning speed, and the early adopters–mostly all A.D.D.–run with it and don’t spend time distilling it for the rest of us.
Clarity is elegant.
I collect great examples of communication. I collect knock-out headlines, other people’s handouts, sales letters, and BIG ideas. I mostly print them and store them in personal “swipe files” that now take up 2 lateral file drawers (and countless online file folders. But I hate online filing systems).
Here are 2 great additions to my online favorites. First is Lee LeFevre’s brilliant site, Common Craft, where in a free library of “how to” videos he explains popular-but-mysterious ideas, like Twitter, in 3 minutes or less. This one is “Twitter in Plain English.”
The second addition is Zappos Shoes CEO Tony’s easy explanation of Twitter and how to set up a Twitter account. If you still don’t “get it” after reading his post, you’re thinking too hard. But it’s another great example of taking something new, unknown or complicated and distilling it down to elegant simplicity.
(By the way, after deciding to Follow Tony on Twitter, he returned the favor and now Follows me. The man is a populist.)
Do you have favorite examples of utter simplicity?