In the film Diamonds Are Forever, the ever illustrious James Bond descends, via parachute of course, upon a distant oil rig where the antagonist Blofeld reveals his devilish plan to destroy Washington D.C. with an orbit-bound weapon is lased controlled by encoded program housed on a cassette tape. Bond curiously inspects the control panel in the pursuit of foiling Blofeld’s evil plot, and his solution was to just press the eject button.
The genius of Bond in this scene was not through his breadth of technical understanding of the equipment. It was not his impressive security hacking skills. Nor was it his superhuman ability to take on an army of highly armed guards with his bare fists. Instead, his genius was demonstrated through his ability to deduce the situation to its essential components and operate accordingly.
“Doing simpler better” is about breaking things down to the basics and mastering them. This is accomplished by continuously challenging the necessity of processes, tools, and features and obsessively seeking root-cause rather than habitually reacting to symptoms.
Here are some examples: Is taking notes on a laptop necessary, or will pencil and paper suffice? Is authoring complex business logic to manipulate data quality in a warehouse appropriate when quality controls at the transactional database would address the issue? Is having volumes of near-real-time analytics at your fingertips necessary when solid subject matter knowledge and decision-making skills will suffice?
Master the basics of everyday tasks and keep it simple. You never know when your opportunity to save the world will be answered by a perfectly simple solution – Bond style.