Greg McKeown writing at the HBR blog:

Apple doesn’t enjoy product and customer clarity because they’re lucky. They didn’t drift into simplicity: they selected it by design. And by ‘selected,’ I mean they wrestled with the complexity, debated the issues, threw out hundreds of possible directions, and eventually arrived on the other side of complexity with the kind of sophisticated simplicity people know and love.

His article is about CEOs and big companies, but it’s just as relevant for department heads, small companies, and even sole proprietorships.

Today, Randy Murray also wrote about saying no, or at least saying not right now:

Why say no? Because I have other great ideas in play and actively being worked on. If I say yes to something else, everything will suffer.

As a company of one, what I like about saying “not right now” to my ideas and/or opportunities is that it requires less mental energy than saying “no”. When an idea comes I let myself flesh out all the concepts, details, bunny trails, and other possibilities related to it, and then let it sit in my digital notebook until it resurfaces for whatever reason (if it ever does).

Relatedly, I learned a lot about simplicity and focus in business by reading Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great.

Simplicity Comes by Design