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First and Fast by Stuart Cross

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CHAPTER 3

Organizing for Speed and Agility

The Power of Simplicity in a Complex World

William of Ockham was a 14th-century English Franciscan friar who became famous as a logician and theologian. He was an influential thinker of his time, but we know him now primarily as a result of Ockham’s Razor, which was his key principle to problem solving. Ockham’s Razor states, “plurality should not be posited without necessity,” but it’s probably easier to think of it as this: “All things being equal the best solution is probably the simplest.” In other words, even though a more complex solution may ultimately be found to be superior, if in doubt err on the side of simplicity. Ockham’s Razor has served scientists and philosophers well throughout the subsequent ...

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