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Insanely Simple

The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


To Steve Jobs, Simplicity was a religion. It was also a weapon.

Simplicity isn’t just a design principle at Apple—it’s a value that permeates every level of the organization. The obsession with Simplicity is what separates Apple from other technology companies. It’s what helped Apple recover from near death in 1997 to become the most valuable company on Earth in 2011.

Thanks to Steve Jobs’s uncompromising ways, you can see Simplicity in everything Apple does: the way it’s structured, the way it innovates, and the way it speaks to its customers.

It’s by crushing the forces of Complexity that the company remains on its stellar trajectory.

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. By naming the iMac, he also laid the foundation for naming waves of i-products to come.

Segall has a unique perspective, given his years of experience creating campaigns for other iconic tech companies, including IBM, Intel, and Dell. It was the stark contrast of Apple’s ways that made Segall appreciate the power of Simplicity—and inspired him to help others benefit from it.

In Insanely Simple, you’ll be 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. You’ll also learn, for example, how to:

• Think Minimal: Distilling choices to a minimum brings clarity to a company and its customers—as Jobs proved when he replaced over twenty product models with a lineup of four.
• Think Small: Swearing allegiance to the concept of “small groups of smart people” raises both morale and productivity.
• Think Motion: Keeping project teams in constant motion focuses creative thinking on well-defined goals and minimizes distractions.
• Think Iconic: Using a simple, powerful image to symbolize the benefit of a product or idea creates a deeper impression in the minds of customers.
• Think War: Giving yourself an unfair advantage—using every weapon at your disposal—is the best way to ensure that your ideas survive unscathed.

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.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 13, 2012 – 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.

Customer Reviews

Finally you can understand what drove Steve Jobs

I learned more about Steve Jobs's motivation in the first 30 pages of this book, than I did in Walter Isaacson's entire biography of Jobs.

What drove Steve Jobs? Specifically, what drove so much of his "bad behavior"? Well, in "insanely simple" you'll find out.

Ken Segall gets to the core commitments of simplicity that drove Steve Jobs - and you can use those core commitments of simplicity to drive yourself as well - without having to be a jerk, by the way.

The moment I finished reading this book, I started reading it again. It's that good.

If you are interested in being able to think and achieve like Steve Jobs, you owe it to yourself to check out this book.

Best book on how Apple works, so far

This is the Best book on how Apple works I've read, so far. And I read quite a few, including the magazine articles at the time of Steve's very untimely death.

Turns out the roadmap to how Apple works is not a roadmap (or a DevKit). It's a philosophy!

Which, in some ways is even better. Armed with Ken Segall's insights you can go and apply Simplicity, Apple's secret weapon to everything, including your life, and be supremely happy.

I now have a renewed purpose to my life!

Thanks, Ken! And kudos!

Seems Good.

I'v just got and read the simple. Seems good. I like APPLE very much.

Insanely Simple
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Management & Leadership
  • Published: Apr 26, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings