The acronym stands for is "keep it simple stupid". My high school coach used to yell "K.I.S.S." over and over in practice. I hated it! Who likes to be called stupid, especially when you're sixteen years old and master and commander of all the knowledge in the universe? But eventually I learned to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The difficulty with simplicity for me is that it feels good to complicate things. It makes me feel like I'm getting things done, getting smarter, or working harder. It feels like my level of expertise should be rising when I introduce more complication.
When I got out of music school, and started touring, writing and recording with my band full time, it was as if I had every jazzy chord tattooed on my brain and I would be required to use at least a minimum of four of those chords per song, or else my dean would come in the room and kick my ass, screaming "Dominant 7" over and over (forgive the music geek joke)! And guess what, I had no idea how to write a good song. I realize now that I hadn't learned how to use all that great knowledge that I had spent four years cramming in-between my ears yet.
It took almost ten years after those first, post-college attempts at writing to realize how to use those same complicated chords in a simple way.
Now I love K.I.S., and yes, i prefer it without a side of stupid, because complication does not discriminate between the dumb and the percipient. So if I'm plugging in a microphone, writing a chorus, making business phone calls, communicating with my wife, or telling a joke, I've got my brain tuned to simplicity. I've found that the simplest answers are usually the right ones, and they usually get the complicated jobs done the fastest.
How about you? What do you do to keep things simple? What's your favorite "simple" song?