Clay Shirky wrote an insightful article recently entitled The Collapse of Complex Business Models. The last line of the article contains the observation
… when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future.
It’s interesting to think how ecosystems reward complexity or simplicity.
Academia certainly rewards complexity. Coming up with ever more complex models is the safest road to tenure and fame. Simplification is hard work and isn’t good for your paper count.
Political pundits are rewarded for complex analysis, though politicians are rewarded for oversimplification.
The software market has rewarded complexity, but that may be changing.