Thursday, August 31, 2017

Shibumi, Simplicity and Inifinite Refinement

Steve Job's Biography by Walter Isaacson contains a section where  Jobs talks about his idea of product design, the importance of simplicity and how simplicity is achieved by not hiding complexity, but by overcoming the same. I had written a post on the same titled 'Simplicity, Design and Steve Jobs'.  I have quoted below the essence of Job's statement.

"Simplicity isn’t just a visual style. It’s not just minimalism or the absence of clutter. It involves digging through the depth of the complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep."

Today, while reading a newsletter, the author of the newsletter mentions the concept of 'Shibumi' while discussing the idea of infinite refinement. The newsletter mentions a book called Shibumi, written by Trevanian and published in 1978. According to the author, what makes the book interesting is the interweaving of Japanese philosophy in an otherwise simple spy story.

Here is a dialog quoted from the book  as mentioned in the newsletter.

"Shibumi, sir?" Nicholai knew the word, but only as it applied to gardens or architecture, where it connoted an understated beauty. 

"How are you using the term, sir?"

"Oh, vaguely. And incorrectly, I suspect. A blundering attempt to describe an ineffable quality. As you know, shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. In demeanor, it is modesty without pudency. In art, where the spirit of shibumi takes the form of sabi, it is elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. In philosophy, where shibumi emerges as wabi, it is spiritual tranquility that is not passive; it is being without the angst of becoming. And in the personality of a man, it is . . . how does one say it? Authority without domination? Something like that."

Nicholai's imagination was galvanized by the concept of shibumi. No other ideal had ever touched him so.  "How does one achieve this shibumi, sir?" 

"One does not achieve it, one . . . discovers it.” 

"Meaning that one must learn a great deal to arrive at shibumi?"

"Meaning, rather, that one must pass through knowledge and arrive at simplicity."

A concept worth exploring further and being...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Latest Trends in Payments Industry

I have given below a presentation shared in an event hosted by a Chennai based FinTech Company.

This presentation discusses Latest Trends in the Payments Industry from a global perspective. Starts with the increase in digital payments to the the need for banks to re-look at how they approach compliance to REgTechs to Regulatory Sandbox to Open API to Security and Authentication