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Easy vs. Simple

· Agile Zone

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You should make it easy, not just simple. And what you offer should be easy for others, not for you.

Easy-vs-simpleOnce it was easy. For me.

When someone asked me to do a keynote talk for a company or a conference, I told them I charged EUR 1,000 for that (plus travel and accommodation, thanks). No matter when or where, public or private, big or small, agile or lean, smart or stupid, it was always the same fee everyone. A thousand Euros. It couldn’t be more simple.

But more and more I felt a need to deal with the complexity of the world. For a company in Lithuania EUR 1,000 can be lot of money. In Norway, it’s the price of three café lattes. And Lithuanians like to pay in LTL, while Norwegians are strangely attached to their NOK.

And so I complexified.

Making It Easy, Not Simple

Happy-melly-indexUsing the (experimental) Happy Melly Index I nowadays prefer to calculate prices based on the local purchasing power. My EUR 1,000 in The Netherlands is roughly as valuable as NOK 8,912 in Norway (which converts to EUR 1,123, because price levels in Norway are higher). At the same time EUR 1,000 is comparable to LTL 2,762 in Lithuania (or EUR 807, because Lithuania is still catching up). This makes it easy to consider my services, for people in both Norway and Lithuania.

I intentionally didn’t keep it simple because my customers didn’t appreciate the simplicity of one fee, in Euros, for everyone. I made it easy, because they appreciate being able to pay in their own currency (which means it’s now me, not them, suffering from currency fluctuations). They also appreciate the certainty of a price level that matches their purchasing power (which means that I face the uncertainty of how much I will earn). I now have the added concerns of currency conversions and revenue stability, which I didn’t have before.

But I don’t mind.

Making It Easy beats Making It Simple.

Part of being successful as a creative worker in a global networked environment is to prefer easy over simple.

I’m trying to make things easy. For you.

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Published at DZone with permission of Jurgen Appelo .

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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