A friend of mine is developing an app.
At one stage, he was so frustrated with the delay he was planning to fly to India to sit with his developers until they completed the app.
I asked him what was causing the delay.
He told me what he thought it was.
I asked him functionalities he expected from the app.
When he told me the functionalities he desired, I told him he could achieve similar functionalities using a combination of WordPress and Aweber.
He did not need someone developing a brand new app when he could easily customise his WordPress website.
Surprised that there could be such a simple solution for something he has spent thousands developing, he said it was not possible.
So, he proceeded to challenge my understanding of his objectives.
I proceeded to once more explain to him my understanding of his objectives and told him the WordPress functionality that could be used to satisfy his requirements.
Even though he accepted the fact that I understood objectives, he thought the solution I propose was too simple for such a complicated problem.
To convince him, I told him this story.
The Complexity Illusion
Sometime last year, while driving from London to Leicester.
As a came off the M1, my car broke down.
I called the breakdown service and help arrived in about an hour.
The mechanic diagnosed the problem and said it was so serious, I had to be towed to a garage.
Not wanting to be towed all the ways to Manchester where my mechanic works, I ask if we could take it to his garage, I was willing to pay him to fix it.
He advised that because of what was broken on the car, new part would need to be order and the part could only be ordered from France.
I decided, it was better to tow the car to Manchester where I could get a courtesy car while my car was been repaired.
There was heavy traffic on the way to Manchester on the day, so, it took us almost four hours to arrive.
When we arrive, my mechanic came towards us, looked under the car and asked the rescue mechanic not be to roll down the car.
He went into his garage, came out with some tools, worked on the car for a few minutes and he told him to take down the car.
When the car was down, my mechanic told me I can leave the car was fixed.
The rescue mechanic stood there red faced.
Both of us could not believe what had just happened.
He had towed me for hour hours for a simple problem that was solved in minutes.
For me that was a very important lesson.
I realise the simple fact that there is a difference between complexity and ability to solve a problem.
In problem solving, there is a difference between simplistic and simple solutions
My friend was still not convinced by my story decide he was not going to adapt my solution.
His app is still not complete and he is still angry with his developer.
Framing a Problem
The most important aspect of solving any problem is the correct framing of the problem.
In medicine accurate diagnoses is fifty percent of cure.
The inability to control the coronavirus comes down to inaccurate framing of the problem.
The first problem we face is the problem of leadership.
Those charged with the responsibility of fighting the virus are completely clueless about how to go about it.
In his book ‘Fifth Risk’ author Michael Lewis sounded the alarm bell about the level of incompetency in the Trump administration.
Americans paid him scant attention.
Two hundred thousand dead Americans later, we can now see the consequences of having incompetent people in position of power.
Similar situation is at play in the UK.
When people voted for Boris Johnson to get Brexit done, coronavirus was the last thing on their minds.
Close to hundred thousand dead Brits later, people are beginning to realise that governing is not a game.
So, the first step in solving the coronavirus problem facing many Western nations is realising the fact that the virus is not our problem.
Our incompetent leaders is the problem.
The second step to solving the coronavirus puzzle…well actually there is no second or third or fourth step.
When the leadership is crap, it does not matter how brilliant a recommendation you provide, it will not be implemented.
Why do you think our leaders are sitting and hoping for a vaccine miracle?
They are completely clueless on what to do.
But like my friend, they frame coronavirus as a complex problem instead of their inability to solve it.
So, I will pray for you, please pray for me.