Keep It Simple Stupid?

The KISS Principle

KISS is the aconym for the design principle of “Keep It Simple, Stupid” The gist of it is that Simplicity has to be the key goal in design concept and that unnecessary complexity should be avoided, if possible.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”

– Albert Einstein

Keep It Stupid Simple?

The origin of this phrase “Keep It Simple Stupid” was coined by Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works.

Johnson was challenging a team of design engineers to come up with a jet aircraft design that must be repairable by an average mechanic in the field under combat conditions with a set of tools. The “stupid” part, refers to the relationships between how the aircraft defects occur and the sophistication to fix them.

Other variations include “Keep It Short & Simple” , “Keep It Simple & Stupid” or “Keep It Simple & Straightforward”.

Personally I don’t like to keep being stupid… So I changed it to “Keep It Straight Simple”.

Keep It Straight Simple

Paraphasing this term is not a must do, but it is the prefered way – “Doing It My Way”.

Everyone learns and applies things differently even though they will achieve similar results. Different routes can lead to the same destination. It just that you should choose what suits you best and help you in the most effective way.

Why do I choose the word straight? – Simple and Straightforward? Straight forward was too long for me, so by keeping it simple, I have changed it to just the word straight.

The word “Straight” was inspired by Mark Joyner’s Number 1 Simpleology Law: The Law of Straight Line. In his course is that the fastest path from point A to point B is a straight line. In his example, point A was to drink water and point B is drinking the water. The actions varies from sweet talking, threats to the most obvious and simple – Just pick the glass up and pour water into your mouth.

My understanding of this law, though his theory doesn’t tell you explicitly, is that the process from a thought (Point A) to a result (Point B), the process (Action) in between, shall be direct and straightforward.

In the physical sense, if there is a wall between point A and point B, the shortest path is still going straight through the wall, but the fastest path may be otherwise – going around it or climbing over it. But if you have to go through this wall repeatedly, It will be faster for you to drill through the wall in the long run.

“It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”

Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Find out more on Mark Joyner’s Simpleology

Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works
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