Simplicity Lessons from


Life is a learning exercise.

I have two contrasting projects on my mind right now that are at different stages of complexity, although they’re somewhat related.

First, through FreshSand Ventures we’re putting a lot of effort into hoping to grow that business. We’ve been struggling to identify how to reach our target audience but we know a fair bit about them. Simplicity is key for us here, if we don’t have it, we won’t grow. provides a coordinated website, email, business cards and letterhead for new businesses for a small monthly subscription fee.

Second, through Three Wise Men we’re putting a lot of effort into the Wise Communicator product. I fear that this product will never be simple. It’s very technical and will always require a developer to integrate it. Wise Communicator ingests data, runs it through a set of rules, and then generates a variety of output such as emails, printed materials, and dynamic graphics. You could think of it as mail-merge on steroids, or an email broadcast engine, except that it can generate as complex materials as your rules and data allow – which (for most organizations) is insanely complex. So, this can sometimes require a person with a brain the size of Manhattan to wrestle under control.

It’s interesting that is a very complex animal, with some sophisticated technology, yet we wrestled the complexity of the technology into some very simple use cases. So for the end-users, it’s trivial. Fill out a form, get some business cards.

We have decided that this is the same path we are going to take with our Wise Communicator product – creating, packaging and selling specialized products using it as a foundation but providing a series of pre-built use-cases that can be simple for end-users.

The nice thing about this, is that for each use-case we narrow our target audience. We have a sharp focus which will help our sales and marketing efforts tremendously.

All while re-using, strengthening, and growing the core technology – which will help to drive additional features to the specialized products.

I love my job đŸ™‚


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