For our Foodie Friday Fun today, let’s get naked.
Not in the clothes sense – in the foodie sense. You see, to me the hardest challenge for a cook is to cook something like a roasted chicken. There’s not a lot of technique to hide behind and generally the seasoning is pretty simple. Maybe there’s a gravy which is a simple pan sauce but there’s certainly no highly refined, triple-reduced sauce with which to drown the improperly prepared protein. The quality of the ingredients is naked, as is the cook’s ability to capture and present that quality.
I’m a fan of simplicity in the kitchen as well as in business (an after all, that’s what the screed is about!). I don’t do molecular gastronomy. I look for great ingredients, prep them using relatively basic techniques (but I practice those basics a lot) an deliver them to the table with a simple presentation, In short, I try to let the goodness speak for itself.
Ideas are the same way. Don’t muck up the basic goodness with some overly complex sauce. Respect the building block, nurture it along carefully and get out of the way of the underlying strength of the idea. People too – they’re the great ingredients of every business.
We conceal ideas behind layers of complexity and like a heavy sauce that complexity can mask what’s good or bad about what’s underneath. Generally, if what’s underneath is really excellent, you want it to shine on its own , so when I encounter some idea or business model that’s overly complex I assume there are some serious flaws within.
I like elevator pitches. They’re the business without the clothing of complexity. I like one page term sheets – they’re deals without the sauce of lawyer language. It’s really hard to make a lot of complicated business issues simple. When you do though you’ll be surprised how much more clear (and delicious!) they are to all concerned – if they’re any good, that is! If they’re not, you’ll see it right away.