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Gall's Law: Keep It Simple, Stupid

Gall's Law: Keep It Simple, Stupid

When designing systems, every decision must optimize for survival. A key part of this is prioritizing simplicity over complexity. Anything that may introduce attack vectors or increase the likelihood of a critical failure must be avoided.

Less is most definitely more.

“If I’m indestructible I don’t have to be the fastest, the shiniest… I just have to be indestructible. If you’re an open software protocol, someone’s going to code an extension to give you every other cool power anybody wants.” —Michael Saylor

Taken from John Gall’s 1977 book Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail, this heuristic explains the success behind the systems we take for granted today which evolved from basic but functional and reliable systems. This is precisely the attitude taken towards the development of bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is too important to follow the Silicon Valley mantra of move fast and break things. Instead, it’s move slowly and don’t break anything. If a global financial system is to be built on a decentralized monetary system, the foundation must be protected at all cost." —Parker Lewis

Complex systems are less able to respond to entropy with flexibility, as one must take into account how any minor change will impact many individual components. In contrast, simple functioning systems may enable innovation (through iteration) as an extension, without risk to the underlying foundation.

“Cramming all the features of Lightning, Liquid, DLCs, RGB, and so on, into the mainchain..is just an obviously bad idea. It would introduce unknowable attack vectors and hence holistic fragility.” —Allen Farrington & Big Al

A critical failure at the foundational level of a software system can bring companies to a halt.

A critical failure at the foundational level of a monetary system can bring countries to a halt.

Any future global monetary system will be adopted precisely because it has been battle-hardened. Nothing will be left to chance.

Do one thing and do it well.