Delicious Simplicity

I love gnocchi. Love. Gnocchi. In my humble opinion, it’s one of the most delicious, perfect things to eat. My favorite Italian restaurant Incontro has the best I’ve ever had.

The amazing thing is that gnocchi is crazy simple. It’s mind boggling that potatoes, flour and eggs can combine to make a fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pillow of pure goodness.

But here’s the problem: Simple ain’t easy. I asked Incontro’s owner, Gianni Bartoletti, how they do it. You’ve got to do the right things with the potatoes, flour, and eggs to make it come together in the right way. Use the wrong kind of potato, not enough flour, too much mixing and you’ll end up with a gummy mess.

Creating a simple message isn’t easy either. We want to cram so much information, riddled with jargon, to make our point. And it’s not as if we are trying to be difficult, it’s just that we have a whole lot to say to prove our company, our products, services and ourselves. We over add and over mix our message, and the core – the most important single idea – gets lost.

Here are a couple of my favorite resources on Simplicity:

  1. Dan Heath has an excellent Made to Stick video series on www.openforum.com. Here he is talking about the first “S” (Simple!) in the SUCCESs framework.
  2. Common Craft: the dynamic duo of Lee and Sachi LeFever have made an art of explanation – to the point that you breathe a sigh of relief after watching one of their videos. They take subjects ranging from borrowing money to cloud computing and break it down into 3 minute videos in “plain English.” Here’s their explanation of Twitter.

So, keep it simple – please. For your next message – think potatoes, flour, and eggs, and mix them up just right to create a memorable experience.

3 comments on “Delicious Simplicity

  1. Kelly:

    Thanks for the ‘SIMPLE’ Post.

    You are absolutely correct.

    Some speakers think they will dazzle people with fancy words and flashy presentations.

    They won’t. They’ll only confuse and quickly lose the audience.

    Clean and Simple RULES!

  2. Excellent analogy! You can’t beat a great gnocchi dinner nor messaging that leaves you going AHA!

    KISS – Keep it simply simple!

  3. Thanks so much for the recognition Kelly. We’re big fans of Chip and Dan Heath – we read Made to Stick just as we were starting the videos. Avoid the curse of knowledge! :)
    Love the gnocchi comparison too. If the formula is just right, the simplest of things can come together in a most tasty way! Cheers!