Simple vs. Easy


Some of the most brilliant insights in life are simple to understand but not always easy to act on.

I like making the distinction between these two concepts.

For example, running a great business is simple… but not easy.

You find a customer with an annoying problem who’s struggling to find an adequate solution. You solve the problem. You charge for what you do at a level that’s higher than your costs. You build a team and infrastructure to do all of this at scale.

This is the essence of Google.

This is the essence of Toyota.

This is the essence of Visa.

Building a multi-billion dollar business is simple… but not easy.

It’s simple in concept to solve a customer’s problem and delight them. It’s not easy to do this at scale with millions, if not billions, of customers.

In fact, it’s the simple things that are difficult to do day in, day out, every… single… day… especially at scale.

One of my mentors grew a 30-person company into a Fortune 500 company.

He told me once that, to build a great business, you don’t have to be a miracle worker. Just do all the basics consistently with no self-sabotaging, and you have a really good shot at building a solid business.

It’s simple… but not easy.


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