27 July 2007

Simplicity Cycle Review!

Chet Richards is one of the last surviving "Boyd Acolytes," and is the leading authority on the work of Col John Boyd. He is a regular contributor to "Defense and the National Interest,"and I had the amazing opportunity to hear him present an updated version of Col Boyd's famous "Patterns of Conflict" briefing a few years ago. He's amazing.

So, I was bowled-over to see that he wrote a glowing review of my Simplicity Cycle book for DNI. It's not just the kind of review I wouldn't dare dream of - it's a review I wouldn't have even imagined dreaming of. To be mentioned in the same breath as Sun Tzu, Jonathon Livingston Seagull and The Elements of Style - I can barely wrap my brain around it.

I really love how his review captures what I was trying to do with the book.

Dan Ward’s entertaining little primer on the subject won’t teach you anything about simplicity that you don’t already know, but it may remind you of some ideas you’ve forgotten. One of these, probably the most important, is that simplicity requires lots of hard work, conscious, ruthless, and creative work.

The last paragraph is my favorite:

Ward, in the manner of another system simplifier, Sun Tzu, doesn’t offer up a cookbook for creating systems. Instead, he proposes and, by using clever graphs, illustrates several themes that, if you ponder them, can set you on the path to designing emotionally rewarding systems. Like Sun Tzu or Jonathan Livingston Seagull, or The Elements of Style, this is a little tome that you can keep in the center drawer of your desk and take out from time to time just to glance through. The book is obviously the product of its own advice: simple, functional, elegant.

1 comment:

Gabe said...

Chet's the Man!