Perfection through Subtraction – The Little Prince

“Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, rather when there is nothing more to subtract.”

Le Petit Prince book cover

Le Petit Prince book cover borrowed from GoodReads.com

Listening to an interview with an author about his writing process brought this wonderful quote from Saint-Exupery.((1))

Simple, clear, direct, user-friendly, straightforward, honest, classic, understated. These are some of the attributes that flow from thinking about your business with Saint-Euxupery’s aphorism in mind. In philosophy, science, and engineering Saint-Exupery’s aphorism is best expressed by Occam’s Razor where the razor shaves away the unnecessary assumptions.

Then, of course in the day-to-day world we have KISS – keep it simple stupid – that stands in for these more elegant formulations. The general lesson here is to beware of complex explanations, strategies, and plans.

Footnotes:
  1. He is the author of The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince if you got to third year French in high school), though the quote come from Terre des hommes []