Let's imagine we meet a scientist who has just invented a robot which according to him is a pretty great achievement. However, when we see it, it looks simple and doesn't look like someone has to do a great amount of analysis and modelling to make it. How do we ask the scientist about how this robot, which he claims to be one of his masterpieces, is so special when it doesn't look like a big deal to us? We could try:
Is this really difficult to invent?
Is this really such a big deal?
This sounds as if we are disparaging his efforts. What would be the right way to ask the same? I would like to know the challenges he faced while making it and why his product was noble. The question is not just limited to a scientist, it could be applicable to almost anyone who is in some or other profession and has done something great.