The Complex Work to Get to Simplicity i.e. Thoughts from My Journey to Revolutionize the Sport of Fencing


I’m on a red eye flight back from Palo Alto, California to NYC where I’ve spent the past few days working with IDEO to wrap up our current round of work to revolutionize the equipment system of fencing.  This is my 3rd trip out to work with them over the past few months.   Flights always seem to rev up my visionary, strategic and practical thinking processes all the same time. In the future when I tell the story of how we revolutionized fencing more than half the transformational big ideas will have occurred on planes. lol

So a small insight into the balance I’m trying to find in regards to revolutionizing the sport on the equipment front.

THE MISSION/GOAL around the equipment is to make the sport more enjoyable and accessible for fencers, spectators and people who want try it and to do this by…

#1 Reducing costs
#2 Simplifying and making the equipment more user friendly
#3 Making the sport more aesthetically and experientially pleasing (more “WOW!” factor) to it
#4 Making the sport easier to understand and referee

In conjunction with: 
#5 (this is a big one) do all of #1-#4 while also creating change that will allow the sport to seamlessly transition from the current equipment system to a new system AND that the new system will continue to allow for progress and innovation on top of itself as new technology becomes available. 

Simple right? lol (The irony being the best solutions are generally always simple ones but with complex thinking required to get to the simplicity)   Thus the title of my post today.   The best fencers (or best anything really) are simple, but it is a complex problem to get to simplicity.   

It has been incredibly exhilarating, inspiring and challenging to engage in this mission and many folks have come before to try and improve the equipment only to fall short.     The equipment system in fencing hasn’t been change in 70 years so we have a long road ahead on many fronts and many things to figure out and discover but I do know that this is exactly where I’m meant to be.  

Ok, back to thinking and plotting on my red eye flight from San Fran to NYC. Thanks for being a part of this journey. I can’t wait to unveil all this work I’ve been doing with IDEO in Palo Alto. #IDEO #Morehouse #TheRevolutionIsComing #RallytotheFlag

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