While the world has seen its fair share of eureka moments, it seems all the more common for us to run into a solution or product which makes us wonder how no one could have come up with it before.

But, why is this so often the case? Read more below.

The Concept of Occam’s Razer

The notion that the simplest solution is usually the best solution likely stems back almost as far as human thought itself, but was most accurately defined by the philosophical principle known as ‘Occam’s Razer’, first put forth by William of Ockham in the 14th century.

The notion of simplicity over contrivance has given rise to considerable philosophical debate and postulation over the centuries – from scientific theory to politics, maths and medicine, the theory seems to hold weight in almost every discipline imaginable.

Practicality Belies the Innovation Behind it

When we are met with an object that perfectly addresses an issue or void in our lives, it appears to us in the same way as a simple solution to a seemingly complex problem. Only those who have invested hours of trial and error, and many years’ worth of experience, are able to truly appreciate quite how much innovation and perseverance poured into it.

Consider the fact that the toothbrush as-we-know-it – which, in its most basic form, seems to be so obvious a solution as to require very little imagination – is less than one hundred years old. So, too, is the potato peeler – while the doorknob holds seniority by only a small margin, at just under one hundred and fifty years.

Alternatively, look to the world of surgery – arguably one of the most complex and specialized disciplines out there – and how seemingly straightforward so many of the most essential practices and pieces of equipment are. Recent improvements that June Medical have made to the design of the Lone Star Retractor, for instance, mean that this device can now be adjusted without requiring more than one free hand from the operating surgeon – a seemingly simple solution to the issue of overcrowding in ORs, but that required extremely specialized knowledge to actualize.

Simplicity is Supported by Modern Technology

Many modern brands are built upon a notion of simplicity – both in terms of their design, and their usability. For instance, in the world of consumer goods, Apple’s success is predicated on a notion of simplicity which translates into the design of both their hardware, and user interface, while Dyson’s continued popularity likely stems from their ability to seamlessly solve issues users had with traditional vacuum cleaners, in a way that belies the years of innovation that poured into it.

Of course, what unites these two brands is the fact that they both exists, in their own ways, at the forefront of technological innovation. The issues they solve, and the new practicalities they introduce, are driven by every new years’ seminal developments, and the growing scope of modern tech.

In essence, as we continue to progress further into the future of technology, it seems increasingly likely that the devices and gadgets leading the world forward will be those that seem too simple to have only just entered into our lives.