I doubt that language factors into this
I wanted to disrupt the existing functionality from the core to completely change the way we looked at the problem.
The reason this is a language-agnostic observation is that it has *nothing* to do with the code itself. You're talking about changing specifications. Working on the specs until they're simple and easy to understand is the most important (and usually hardest) part of designing software. Once the specs are straight-forward and easy to understand, the rest of the design (including writing the code) is much easier.
When I'm designing software I try to describe the problem in the simplest possible terms (and usually that includes explaining/working out a completely different description of the original problem to/with the client), then think of the simplest solution , and implement that. The reason is simple: software and specifications are only useful to humans, and humans actually don't get along well with complexity. This includes the end-user and the programmer.
It still takes experience and taste to make it work, though - I've made plenty compromises to this ideal. I don't know of any sound-bites to explain software design :-)