One of the recurrent problems I see with the startups I mentor, and even with established companies, is that their presentations are far too complex. There really are two types of “presentation” documents: those meant to be read and those meant to support a speaker. The former can be more complex as they need to standalone, but the rules of simplicity still apply.
These quotes apply to presentations, products, organizations and virtually everything else, but since I see so many pitches I tend to use them most during pitch reviews.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler – Albert Einstein
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. – Antoine de Saint Exupery
As a good example of the value of team mentoring, when I used the Einstein quote in a team mentoring session the other mentor brought up the Saint Exupery quote, which I had not heard. So both the entrepreneur and I learned something.
Quotes like these are a powerful tool in mentoring, as the credibility of the source lends weight to the insight and such classic quotes tend to be memorable.
For an entire book on the subject of simplicity I recommend John Maeda’s The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life).