Simplicity is Key

Focus ruthlessly on simplicity.

Complexity is the devil. Complexity will multiply your costs, bugs, downtime, development time, security holes, and pretty much everything bad you want to avoid.

Great minds agree...


  • "A large part of how we’ve been able to scale Instagram with very few engineers is by choosing simple, easy-to-understand solutions that we trust."
  • "1) Keep it very simple 2) Don’t re-invent the wheel 3) Go with proven and solid technologies when you can."

Instagram, scaled to $1 Billion with a tiny team of engineers


  • "Prefer tools that are: mature; really good and simple; well known and liked; well supported; consistently good performers; failure free as possible; free."

Pinterest, scaled to $2.5 Billion with a tiny team of engineers


  • "Keep it simple! Simplicity allows you to rearchitect more quickly so you can respond to problems."
  • "#1 rule: Keep it simple and cheap."

YouTube, scaled to $1 Billion with a small team of engineers


And perhaps my favorite...

"Simplicity is hard work. But, there's a huge payoff. The person who has a genuinely simpler system - a system made out of genuinely simple parts, is going to be able to affect the greatest change with the least work. He's going to kick your ass. He's gonna spend more time simplifying things up front and in the long haul he's gonna wipe the plate with you because he'll have that ability to change things when you're struggling to push elephants around."

Rich Hickey, Creator of the Clojure programming language




Original: 09 Sep 2013

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