Six years ago I had an idea. I thought it was simple. I set out to build it.

In my head, it would go like this:

Simple idea –> traction –> add a bit more complexity –> traction –> add a bit more complexity –> etc.

Eventually, this simple idea would be a massive mothership.

In reality, it went like this:

Simple idea –> little traction –> make it simpler –> little traction –> make it simpler –> bit of traction –> make it simpler –> almost meaningful traction –> make it simpler –> traction –> etc.

Eventually, the idea might be simple enough to be massive.

At every step, I thought I’d stripped to the bone. Made every non-core compromise. At every step, the big discovery and the big challenge was figuring out I hadn’t simplified enough.

The simpler a big idea or product, the harder it is to build.

I’m still trying to simplify every day.