What is the KISS Principle?
The KISS Principle is a Guideline that suggests to Keep Things Simple whenever possible.
- It was invented by Clarence Johnson during World War II.
It suggests not to increase the Complexity of things as it implies adding new variables that are much more difficult to Control and Predict.
- The more variables, the more difficult it is to predict the Outcome.
Its name is an acronym for the Guideline it suggests:
- “Keep it Simple, Stupid“.
Examples of the KISS Principle
As this Principle is very simple (it practices what it preaches) we think the best way to show you How it is Used, is with some examples.
We have created 5 examples of Situations in which the KISS Principle is widely used and Useful.
Let’s see what we can learn:
Investing - KISS Principle example
The Investment Sector is a good example of what happens when things get so Complex that they end up collapsing and nobody sees it coming.
- Or almost no one.
One of the best Investors of all time, Warren Buffet follows a Simple Principle:
- “Invest in something you understand“.
He hasn’t invested (or at least not heavily) in:
- Complex CDOs.
- Complex technological companies.
He invests in “simple Businesses” that he understands.
- He only invested in Apple in recent years, when it was already the largest company on Earth.
And… Yes, he has lost lots of Opportunities.
But, he is one of the most Successful Investors of all time.
Communication Skills - KISS Principle example
Political advisers have known this Principle for a long time.
If you don’t believe us, check out the Political Campaigns in more detail:
- Political messages are simple (and often, simplistic).
- Political campaigns don’t say anything new.
- Politicians never go into detail.
- Politicians always support obvious things.
Why does this happen, regardless of the country or the political party?
- Because the simpler the Message, the easier it is to Understand.
But, apart from Politics, this Principle is also used in Marketing Campaigns.
- Well… Marketing and Politics is almost the same.
Check out how, in almost every Ad:
- They never go into Product details (Technical details).
- They usually talk about family, friends… Things we all know and Understand.
- The characteristics of the Product are over Simplified.
- Using words such as:
- Good Taste.
- And, without having more data, those words mean nothing.
- Using words such as:
Writing - KISS Principle example
As in the Previous example, this Principle is very Useful in Writing.
- Writing is part of a Communication Process.
It doesn’t matter if you are Writing a Blog, or an Essay on Heidegger’s philosophy:
- You want your ideas to be as Understandable as possible.
Of course, the level of required Complexity varies depending on What you Write about.
As a Real example, we’ll tell you that, in our First Publications (on this Site):
- We described things in much more detail.
- We were constantly linking our Publications.
- We used lots of analogies.
Suddenly, we realized that, our simplest publications were the most Successful ones.
- We were giving the same information, but much better synthesized.
Programming - KISS Principle example
In case you don’t know, in programming, the Shorter and Simpler the code, the better.
- The Computer needs less resources to execute the Program.
If you can code something with 3 lines, it is much better than with 6 lines.
It may not seem like a big difference, but if a full Program is 3,000 instead of 6000 lines, the difference will be noticeable.
- Mobile phones and computers could run it more efficiently.
Art and Design - KISS Principle example
Good Artists (on average) try not to Complicate things more than necessary.
They focus on what really matters:
- The Composition.
Look for example at this Picasso Painting:
If you look carefully, he didn’t painted the Clown’s right leg.
He probably thought that it would be too much “red” in the Painting.
- And not adding it, would not be noticeable at all.
What Picasso did in this Painting, complies with the KISS Principle, and reflects his utter genius as an Artist.