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Jurgen Appelo calls himself a creative networker. But sometimes he's a writer, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, illustrator, manager, blogger, reader, dreamer, leader, freethinker, or… Dutch guy. Since 2008 Jurgen writes a popular blog at, covering the creative economy, agile management, and personal development. He is the author of the book Management 3.0, which describes the role of the manager in agile organizations. And he wrote the little book How to Change the World, which describes a supermodel for change management. Jurgen is CEO of the business network Happy Melly, and co-founder of the Agile Lean Europe network and the Stoos Network. He is also a speaker who is regularly invited to talk at business seminars and conferences around the world. After studying Software Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, and earning his Master’s degree in 1994, Jurgen Appelo has busied himself starting up and leading a variety of Dutch businesses, always in the position of team leader, manager, or executive. Jurgen has experience in leading a horde of 100 software developers, development managers, project managers, business consultants, service managers, and kangaroos, some of which he hired accidentally. Nowadays he works full-time managing the Happy Melly ecosystem, developing innovative courseware, books, and other types of original content. But sometimes Jurgen puts it all aside to spend time on his ever-growing collection of science fiction and fantasy literature, which he stacks in a self-designed book case. It is 4 meters high. Jurgen lives in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) -- and in Brussels (Belgium) -- with his partner Raoul. He has two kids, and an imaginary hamster called George. Jurgen has posted 145 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Easy vs. Simple

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You should make it easy, not just simple. And what you offer should be easy for others, not for you.

Easy-vs-simpleOnce it was easy. For me.

When someone asked me to do a keynote talk for a company or a conference, I told them I charged EUR 1,000 for that (plus travel and accommodation, thanks). No matter when or where, public or private, big or small, agile or lean, smart or stupid, it was always the same fee everyone. A thousand Euros. It couldn’t be more simple.

But more and more I felt a need to deal with the complexity of the world. For a company in Lithuania EUR 1,000 can be lot of money. In Norway, it’s the price of three café lattes. And Lithuanians like to pay in LTL, while Norwegians are strangely attached to their NOK.

And so I complexified.

Making It Easy, Not Simple

Happy-melly-indexUsing the (experimental) Happy Melly Index I nowadays prefer to calculate prices based on the local purchasing power. My EUR 1,000 in The Netherlands is roughly as valuable as NOK 8,912 in Norway (which converts to EUR 1,123, because price levels in Norway are higher). At the same time EUR 1,000 is comparable to LTL 2,762 in Lithuania (or EUR 807, because Lithuania is still catching up). This makes it easy to consider my services, for people in both Norway and Lithuania.

I intentionally didn’t keep it simple because my customers didn’t appreciate the simplicity of one fee, in Euros, for everyone. I made it easy, because they appreciate being able to pay in their own currency (which means it’s now me, not them, suffering from currency fluctuations). They also appreciate the certainty of a price level that matches their purchasing power (which means that I face the uncertainty of how much I will earn). I now have the added concerns of currency conversions and revenue stability, which I didn’t have before.

But I don’t mind.

Making It Easy beats Making It Simple.

Part of being successful as a creative worker in a global networked environment is to prefer easy over simple.

I’m trying to make things easy. For you.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Jurgen Appelo. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)