I find Disraeli to be a rather fascinating historical figure. Here is why.
In his History of Britain series, Simon Schama has some interesting comments ab0ut the great 19th century English politician, Benjamin Disraeli. He notes that Disraeli had the great gift of imagination. He was able to see what was going on in a different light than most. And that imagination enabled him to distinguish his message from his rival, the great Gladstone. Disraeli was smart enough to turn Gladstone’s supposed strengths against him, as the anti-Gladstone political force. Part of that was to reject the idea that success was based on hard work (Gladstone reveled in this). To the contrary, success requires work of the right kind at the right moment. Whether it is difficult is not relevant.
Which, btw, reminds me of a story. A young lady attending her first ball in London told her mother, “I had the good fortune to chat with Mr. Gladstone”. Her mother asked her what she thought. “When I spoke with Mr. Gladstone, I felt I was speaking with the most intelligent man in the British empire”. And she went on. “Then I had the good fortune to chat with Mr. Disraeli”. Her mother asked again what she thought. The answer, “When I spoke with Mr. Disraeli, I felt that I was the most intelligent woman in the British empire”. Instructive, n’est ce pas?
With this frame of mind, I enjoyed Miso Engineering’s post about “overdoing it”. It is right on. Life is much simpler than we think. But it takes imagination to see the simplicity.
FOLLOW - At the end of Miso’s post, you will find a comment about Apple’s early philosophy of “imputing”. Clients impute (or inject) conclusions about products based on what they think they see. And so appearances matter. But not just the appearances of the things we make. The same applies to the impressions we create by what we say and do. It is a mistake (mea culpa) to assume that people hear what we say and see who we are. That is rarely the case. People hear what they think is being said and see what they think they should see. These things are often at odds with reality. If you would like to think more deeply about this you can watch Bruce Schneier on modeling. I learned quite a bit from Bruce about the strengths and limitations of how we (as moderns) cope with complexity.