Solve the problem by think simple. For many times we always thought that to think simple is so easy to do. However, more often we always missed a simple solution to our problems. Many times we would use complicated solutions when actually the problems we faced were simple to solve.
These stories could give some insights that by think simple we could solve various problems that looks complicated in the beginning.
Soap box detector
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In Japan a well known large cosmetic company received complains from customers that they bought empty paper boxes. Some soap which were packaged into paper boxes are not in the box.
The director of the company told these problems to the packaging department which their duty is to move every loaded soap boxes to the delivery department. For one reason there is one missing soap box that reached the packaging department empty. The management team asked the technicians to solve this problem.
The technicians work hard and created an X-ray machine with high resolution monitor and operated by 2 persons to check every soap box that passed this machine with x-ray and make sure every soap box is not empty. No doubt these hard works succeed; however at the same time this was also cost the company lot of money.
Meanwhile an employee at a different company also faced similar problem, however he didn’t use any complicated solution like the other company. He simply bought a large high power industrial electric fan and put it in the packaging department and turned on the fan. As a result, they easily found, every soap boxes that flew out from the packaging line when it passed the fan are empty since the soap box is made from paper. What a simple solution.
When NASA sent their astronauts to outer space they found that their pen could not work at all since the ink would not move the eye of the pen because of zero gravity. To solve this problem they spent a decade and almost 12 million dollars to invent and developed a pen that could fully function in zero gravity, upside down and under water even write on crystal’s surface from below zero temperature up to 300 degree Celsius. And do you know what the Soviet Union (Russian) do? They simply use pencil to write in outer space.
One day an apartment owner received complains from the occupants. They complained the long waiting time inside the elevator as the number of occupants in the apartment increased. He was then invited a number of experts to solve this problem.
One expert suggested adding more elevators in the apartment. Of course with more elevators the waiting time would decrease. Other expert suggested the owner to replace the elevator with new faster elevator, with assumption people will be served faster. These two suggestions of course require a large cost.
However another expert suggested only one thing. The “main core of the complain was they that felt they waited too long”. He only suggested investing a mirror in front of the elevator, to make the occupants distracted from waiting.
The moral of these stories is a philosophy well known as KISS (keep it simple stupid), which is to find a simple solution, that any idiot can do. Make a simple solution that would solve the problem. Therefore we need to focus on the solution and not on the problem.