I just started working at a company that makes shoe glue — literally the stuff that holds a shoe together — and over the past two weeks I have learned more about shoes than I have in my entire life (including my reading of Shoe Dog). The best way I can summarize shoe construction and the industry at large:

Its complicated.

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Image taken from: Gallantway

In fact the majority of what we do on a day to day basis is extremely complex. Driving to work in a car involves so much complexity. The fact that I am even driving a car, which in itself is difficult to fathom.

If we start at the car level and work our way down:

  1. A car is a summation of a myriad of different parts and components that come together to execute the vision of a single design.

If we really stop to take a look at everything we use on a daily basis it’s all incredibly complex from a car, to the television, to the fact that we communicate via the internet. The majority of what we interact with on a daily basis is a construct of humans including our society.

So when it comes to things we are interested it’s often in a form that represents a reduced complexity.

  1. Eating at a restaurant is fun because I can sit there and they bring me food. I don’t have to grow food, shop, cook, or clean. I just have to pick something off a menu.

I think a reduction of complexity is why minimalism is popular, why Marie Kondo is popular, and why clean and orderly places or natural places are calming.

Humans are good at making things complex.

Humans are bad at making things simple.

Finding a good place in the middle is happiness.

Companies that help reduce complexity without losing too much money for too long will always be successful.

Reducing is always going to be the next big thing.

Written by

Writer of The Polymerist newsletter. Talk to me about chemistry, polymers, plastics, sustainability, climate change, and the future of how we live.

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