Compounding complexity

Much better to avoid complexity altogether, or rather only accept it when the benefit vs complexity trade off is hugely compelling. Hence I say it’s best to maintain an irrational bias against complexity and keep it simple.
This is a lesson I’ve learnt before and now I’m learning again. I’m hoping that writing it down will help me remember it better this time
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Nic Brisbourne
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The diagram below from MindYourDecisions.com shows a chart of how compounding interest can have a significant impact to your savings over a long period of time. The longer the period, the greater the impact.
Compounding interest

Unfortunately for OSS, the same goes for compounding complexity. The more complexity we implement today, no matter how little, the increasingly more complexity we have to deal with over time. Even more unfortunate for OSS practitioners is that the proverbial complexity snowball has already become overwhelming in size long before it crashes down on our little chalet at the bottom of the mountain.

Complexity begets more complexity, so every single day should be a fight for the simplification of the aspects we do have control over within our OSS realm.

I write about this concept of simplification A LOT (here’s just one example – The Triple Constrain of OSS). It’s a lesson I learn almost every day in OSS, yet I still lose sight of simplicity in the pursuit of perfection.

Like Nic, “I’m hoping that writing it down will help me remember it better this time.”

More tomorrow on how compounding complexity is curtailing the tier-one telco models.

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