Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success

Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success

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by Ken Segall
     
 

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Simplicity isn’t just a design principle at Apple—it’s a value that permeates every level of the organization. It’s what helped Apple recover from near death in 1997 to become the most valuable company on earth in 2012.

 

As ad agency creative director, Ken Segall played a key role in Apple’s resurrection, helping to create

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Overview

Simplicity isn’t just a design principle at Apple—it’s a value that permeates every level of the organization. It’s what helped Apple recover from near death in 1997 to become the most valuable company on earth in 2012.

 

As ad agency creative director, Ken Segall played a key role in Apple’s resurrection, helping to create such critical marketing campaigns as “Think Different” and naming the iMac.

 

This book makes you a fly on the wall inside a conference room with Steve Jobs, and on the receiving end of his midnight phone calls. You’ll understand how his obsession with Simplicity helped Apple perform better and faster, sometimes saving millions in the process.

 

Segall brings Apple’s quest for Simplicity to life using fascinating (and previously untold) stories from behind the scenes. Through his insight and wit, you’ll discover how companies that leverage this power can stand out from competitors—and individuals who master it can become critical assets to their organizations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this captivating book, Segall (who worked with Jobs as agency creative director for NeXT and Apple and named the iMac) has succeeded in distilling what made Steve Jobs succeed in ways no one would have imagined—simplicity. The idea of going simple, and Jobs’s obsession with it, is neither a set of rules nor a goal, but a worldview of how things should be and should proceed. Presenting simple from almost every angle (advertising slogans, product names, product lines, group sizes), Segall shows how simple has propelled Apple, creating powerful changes within the company. Contrast this with the path of complexity, of which Segall offers plenty of examples from companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and Dell. More practical than theoretical, this essential book is about “using the power of Simplicity to set a company apart.” Readers will appreciate personal stories about Jobs, which contribute to the narrative of Jobs the icon, and the role simplicity played in his success. Agent: Christy Fletcher, Fletcher & Company. (May)
From the Publisher
"A blueprint for running a company the Steve Jobs way . . . should be required reading for anyone interested in management and marketing."

The Times (London)

"Gets inside Apple's branding and marketing to explain its directness and power."

Financial Times

"Required reading."

The Observer

"Ken Segall has literally captured lightning in a bottle. Insanely Simple reveals the secret of Steve Jobs's success with such clarity, even we non-geniuses can make use of it. Ken shows us how to cut through the cobwebs of fuzzy thinking, bureaucracy and mediocrity, and clearly see what's most essential-and therefore most important."

Steve Hayden, legendary Apple creative director, author of the "1984" Super Bowl commercial

Kirkus Reviews
Steve Jobs' longtime advertising guru weighs in with a memoir/extra-long promotional brochure about the secret to Apple's success: Simplicity with a capital S. Inveterate copywriter Segall's goal is to sell readers on the idea of how the ruthless but noble Jobs beat his Silicon Valley competition into submission using his "Simplicity Stick." Like an inescapable mantra throughout the book, the author constantly reiterates the idea of Apple's colossal struggle against Simplicity's worst foe: Complexity. When Jobs left NeXT to head up Apple, he went on a mission to streamline his products to make them simpler to use than those of complexity-loving rival brands such as Intel and Dell. In relating Jobs' monomaniacal mission to make the world of handheld technology a simpler place, Segall employs an unsettling combination of militaristic language and softer terms that suggest humanist sensitivity in Apple's quest for global domination. Describing Jobs' commitment to brutal honesty with his employees, the author writes, "Being straight with people alone does not make you a heartless bastard." Of course, having well-documented ties to sweatshop labor doesn't exactly make you a paragon of virtue. Readers should not expect to find unpleasant facts that undermine the deification of the author's subject. Although Segall fully discloses Jobs' well-known tendency to steal ideas from competitors, this dubious characteristic doesn't stop the author from painting a broader portrait of Jobs as a tirade-prone earthbound god ruling his Apple kingdom with fear, while generously dispensing technological convenience to the grateful masses. "Steve's greatest achievement wasn't a Mac, iPod, iPhone, or iPad," writes the author. "He accomplished something that no one had even contemplated before. Steve Jobs built a monument to Simplicity. That monument is Apple itself." Fine inspirational material for aspiring tech moguls, but far too propagandistic.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591846215
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/30/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
289,907
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“A blueprint for running a company the Steve Jobs way . . . should be required reading for anyone interested in management and marketing.”
The Times (London)

“Gets inside Apple’s branding and marketing to explain its directness and power.”
Financial Times

“Required reading.”
The Observer

“Ken Segall has literally captured lightning in a bottle. Insanely Simple reveals the secret of Steve Jobs’s success with such clarity, even we non-geniuses can make use of it. Ken shows us how to cut through the cobwebs of fuzzy thinking, bureaucracy and mediocrity, and clearly see what’s most essential—and therefore most important.”
—Steve Hayden, legendary Apple creative director, author of the “1984” Super Bowl commercial

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