News & Research Archive

The KISS Principle

Aug 20, 2012


"Keep it Simple Stupid" - simple words that are so powerful and more relevant now than ever to compete and more importantly, win as a salesperson. With all of today's technology resources available to us we are certainly capable of handling more and more business with higher productivity.

At the beginning of my career back in 1984, setting up a tour for a client involved a process that would often times take days before I was ready to tour a property. I started with no cell phone, no computer, no high-speed copier/scanner and no resources available at my fingertips to research properties. I came into the business at the end of an era; I had a phone and a phone book and was on my own to figure out the rest.

Before, I was able to handle maybe a half a dozen assignments at one time, now I am able to handle two to three times the amount of opportunities. Despite its obvious advantages, all of this technology and resulting fast-paced life has come with a price. First, we now have new body part called a smartphone, connecting us to our clients in a way that now blends our work time with our personal time. No longer can we say that we work 9-5 or even 7-7 if we're clocking in long hours - we are on 24/7.

To compete successfully as a salesperson and perform at your best, today's technology offers a game changer in the form of providing a means to consistent communication with your ongoing and new clients. At issue is whether this technology has simplified life or complicated matters further.

Coined by Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works (creators of the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, among many others) the KISS principle is often times mistranslated as 'keep it simple, stupid', while Johnson originally intended it to read 'keep it simple stupid'. There is no intent to imply that the reader is stupid, just the opposite in fact. The principle is best exemplified by the story of Johnson handing a team of design engineers a handful of tools, with the challenge that the jet aircraft they were designing must be repairable by an average mechanic in the field under combat conditions with a limited arsenal of tools. Hence, the 'stupid' refers to Johnson's desire to keep things simple and straightforward.

With the prominence of today's technology, it is far too easy to allow it to run rampant on our lives and in more cases than not become controlled by our devices, rather than the other way round. It is important to reflect on what is most important in our lives and then use our tools to become more efficient in achieving what is most important to us. To be successful we must follow our own simple rules each day, stick to them, and use technology to enhance, not overwhelm our lives.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 27 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

Contact Us

Name must not be empty
Please provide a valid email
Message should not be empty




TCN Worldwide