Summary of Simple

Conquering the Crisis of Complexity

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Simple book summary
As life grows increasingly complex, you can make an updated case for KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Exasperating automated phone systems, impenetrable product packaging, complex appliance instructions, indecipherable contracts and one-sided click-through agreements are only a few examples of the complexity that makes life frustrating and difficult. People find complexity maddening, and it hampers the smooth flow of business and government. Companies that have taken a stance against complexity, such as Apple and Trader Joe’s, have enjoyed unparalleled success. Anticomplexity advocates Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn elegantly express the case for simplification. Although readers will nod their heads in agreement with this indictment of complexity, the writers should have followed a bit of their own advice by providing outlines, summaries or bullet points. Nevertheless, getAbstract recommends this manifesto about simplification for a measure of comfort and as a practical, workable vision of a better way.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why life has become increasingly complex;
  • How complexity affects consumers, business and government; and
  • How to simplify your products and services, practices and communications.


Too Complex to Handle
The products you use, the companies you buy from and the communications you receive overwhelm you with complexity. For example, the average credit card contract fills many pages of small type. The US tax code is thicker than the New York City phone book. Because of...
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About the Authors

Alan Siegel, who ran a simplification project for the IRS, works at Siegelvision where Irene Etzkorn is chief clarity strategist. She writes and speaks on simplification practices.

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