The Complexity Gap

(Continued from Part 2)

Let’s start with a quick recap, gang …


We are expected to “stay on top of” … well, everything.  So, we are always “checking” everything.  Gotta check email.  Gotta check social media.  Gotta get the news.  Gotta check the stats.

This creates a handy illusion of productivity.  In reality, we perform these rituals in an ADD-distracted, OCD-obsessed, or overwhelmed, state..  This is “normal,” we are told.  From time to time we feel little pangs of terror and think …

We are then expected to lead, but – holy shiatsu – we don’t really understand leadership.

As you’ll see in a moment, there’s a single elegant solution to both of these problems …  But first, we need to take a quick detour together.  It’s a short, but supremely important, trip down the rabbit hole.  I want to show you why this is just the tip of ….

The Mother of All Icebergs!

(cue dramatic music)

Let’s get geeky for a minute before we get back to the story.  Check out these projections from IDC.

By 2020 we are projected to pass the 40,000 exabyte mark. Can you imagine what that chart will look like by 2050?

The details are debatable (how is the data measured?  what’s included?) …

But such a debate misses the point:  the global volume of data is increasing.  And more importantly, the rate at which it is increasing is exponential.

Now some might say …

Well, consider this. The human brain can only process about 7 bits of information in conscious memory at a time (Miller, 1956, Princeton Psychological Review).  This number doesn’t change.

I call this “The Complexity Gap”

This chart doesn’t do “the gap” justice, but you get the idea.

In other words … The world is rapidly becoming more and more complex in the Information Age. But the human brain can only handle the same amount of complexity it was able to handle in the Stone Age.

And this “gap” gets wider with every passing day.

Is it any wonder everyone feels overloaded? (And is there any reason to believe this situation will get better on its own?)

By the time you’ve finished watching this short picture-story …

… you will see: 1) how “Yoda’s” lesson solves The Complexity Gap and puts you back in the commander’s chair …

… 2) why it delivers the ultimate “knock-out punch” to your competitors in business …

… and, 3) that it has other very surprising (and surprisingly pleasant) side effects.

OK, let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to it. The answer to “Yoda’s” torturous question …


… is simple, but requires a little nuance to understand: “seeing the battlefield.”

It doesn’t matter how good you are at everything else.  You could have the brain of Da Vinci, and the charisma of Mahatma Gandhi himself, but …

If you can’t “see the battlefield,” success in any endeavor is always going to be a crapshoot.

Imagine a football player wearing a blindfold …

How could we ever expect him to arrive in the end zone? Even if he’s a 300 pound wall of muscle with lightning reflexes and a genius IQ.

If you can see the battlefield when your rivals can’t, you will always outsmart them (no matter how “good” they are)

… and you will always win.

“Um – fascinating, but … this isn’t relevant to my life.”

Au contraire!

Think of it this way …

If you don’t know which parts of your business are bringing in profit and which are bleeding you dry, how could you ever hope to turn it into the coin-operated profit machine you want it to be?

If you don’t know whether your health regimen is actually working, how could you ever hope to have a beach body by summer (let alone the pep required to enjoy your golden years)?

Seeing the Battlefield is a metaphor that applies to everyone.

No matter who you are, or what you want to become, seeing the battlefield is the essential foundation. Strategies and tactics come and go. The dire urgency of seeing the battlefield always remains.

“But …” (The Mother of All Buts)

When we’re constantly distracted by, and bombarded with, information, we may have the physical ability to see the battlefield …

… but our brains can’t process what we see because it’s clouded by too much information.

Military leaders call this the “fog of war.”

Today the “fog of war” looms over everything.

It does make for some bizarre, albeit entertaining, behavior, though …

We have access to more exotic business metrics than at any time in history …

… but we fetishize the raw availability of these numbers …

… instead of focusing on the one or two that will tell us what we actually need to know.

We have access to everything

… but we click from distraction to distraction …

… instead of focusing on the real “profound knowledge” that will give us a competitive edge or make our lives better.

See, seeing the battlefield is not just about access. It’s about focus and choice. It’s not just looking – or being able to look.

It’s actually seeing.

Alas, we have the physical ability to see …

… but tragically, our brains are too overloaded to use it.

Or, in the immortal words of Louis C.K. …

“So, more amazing = less happy?”

Maybe not …


What if there was another way to be?  What if there was some kind of “hack” that would let us bypass this whole mess?

For example, what if you had a place to log in (from the lush comfort of your wherever-you-want)…

… and in a single stress-free glance …

… you could see the vital few numbers that tell you the health of your business (or your investments, or your kids) in a visual display  …

… the uplifting, idea-generating, or advantage-giving info that matters to you (filtering out the noise that doesn’t)

… and anything else that allowed you to calmly get the drop on your competition while they are mired in distraction?

And what if it was infinitely customizable with just a few clicks …

… with drag and drop ease …

 … and with no technical skills required?

And what if it was totally integrated into your Simpleology account so you could draw in any Simpleology goodness you choose – like Daily Targets, Lists, Trackers, and more?

What if there was finally a way to filter out the fog of war … to actually see your battlefield every morning – instantly, automatically, and with calm zen-like focus?

So you could spend more time doing things you love – the things that increase the quality and quantity of your life?

Introducing Simpleology Dashboard

If you are one of the Simpleology Elite, we installed Dashboard for you this morning. You’re welcome! Have fun playing with your new power toy.

If you’re not Elite yet, let’s fix that.  You’re moments away from instant access to all this (and more) when you start your free trial now …

  • Your very own infinitely customizable dashboard – tweak it however you want with just a few clicks.  Soon you’ll wake up each morning stoked and in control – with an almost supernatural ability to “see the battlefield” in perfect clarity.  (Starting each morning with a finger-steeple “exxxcellennt” – optional.)
  • Pull in data from anywhere – Simpleology Trackers, MySQL queries, Google Sheets (and more on the way) – so there is nothing beyond your reach.  (The fulfillment of life-long Star Trek captain’s chair fantasies – also optional.)
  • Add any RSS feed in the world.   Create your own masterfully-curated intelligence stream, so you can stay abreast of what matters – and only what matters – while your competitors are bogged down in the “fog of war,” baffled that you are so calm and commanding.
  • And much more – and much more on the way

Maybe your mind is already racing with the business-domination and life-simplification possibilities, but here are a few idea generators to get your juices flowing even more …

“RSS feeds” are but one of the many things you can pull into your Simpleology Dashboard.  They exist for just about anything you can imagine. Yes, every blog in the world has an RSS feed, and that’s only the beginning.

There is a hidden “other Internet” (arguably a “better Internet”) in the world of RSS … What will your custom-curated info-stream look like?

Want to see only motivating/inspiring quotes or images? There are RSS feeds for that. Well, thousands of them, actually.  It’s like start each day with an invigorating cup of “go juice.”

Want to find out any time your brand is mentioned in the news or on the web? You can create an RSS feed for that, too.  X-ray specs for the buzz-o-sphere!

Want to see all the top tech news, as voted on by geeks? Then the Reddit tech news feed is for you.  (My friends always ask, “Wow, how do you know so much about what’s happening in tech?”  It’s not hard to be smart when you’re hanging out in the right places.)

An RSS feed for pretty much anything you could ever want exists, or can be easily created by you.  The days of info-overwhelm are over, folks.

And that’s just RSS … we haven’t even scratched the surface of the business metric, bio-metric, and anything-you-want-metric possibilities.

Remember Pearson’s Law?  ”That which is measured improves.  That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.”

Now, ask yourself this question:

Is there any part of my life I’d like to improve exponentially?

Got one?  Drag it into your Dashboard and enjoy the magic.

When you start your free trial today, you’ll also get free pass to a live webinar where I will reveal …

click here )

  • RandallRussell  Hey Russell, thanks for the kind words.  There is but we don’t advertise it … Please contact and they’ll give you the scoop :-)

  • SusanHeider  haha yep … as you know now, it’s totally real and that most folks aren’t aware of it is such a great example of the consequences of overload.

  • Michael Bernstein

    I can’t wait to try my dashboard.

  • Carl Dickens

    Mark, I really enjoyed this and i have used the dashboard for a while. It is my home page and I open it on a separate screen when in the office and the first thing I see when the PC comes on. It helps a lot to motivate me to “start my day”.

  • Sid

    I noticed Graphene three years ago, a fascinating material and obviously to get in on, if one can still, re stock in companies..IF stock will still be a mode of commerce in the near uture..There may be a question with that, yes Mark?

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