I love this and I also love Michael Bierut's quote in the previous post. "...beset with factors with have nothing to do with design excellence. You know, real life."
The thing that annoys me most about most graphic designers is their inability to think outside of their own sphere of reference. The client, or customer, user, human, whatever, will have many things on their mind, graphic design is only one of them. A problem that requires graphic design to solve it will seldom ONLY require graphic design to solve it. It's just one weapon in the amoury. As Ken says, what you need may be less graphic design, or maybe even no graphic design at all. Something else. Or as Michael says, "you know, real life."
I guess the crux of what Ken is saying here, is that the problem with graphic design and graphic designers is that they aren't willing to say "You don't need this." And this is more than just making design simple, it's about questioning whether we actually need to do this project in the first place. User needs, if you like.
And there's loads more I could write. But, you know.