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Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success by [Segall, Ken]
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Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 714 KB
  • Print Length: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064W5V5C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I took away from this book an appreciation of simplicity as was the authors intent and it did provide some insights as to hard hard making simplicity can be.
But the book reads as if it were written by apples PR team and that detracted from the overall reading experience.
If you like reading stories about how Apple operates then this book will be fun but otherwise there is way to much apple worship going on here.
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NOT insanely simple writing. Conveys "simplicity" very well along with first-hand examples but often rambles. Including the views of other Apple employees would have given a more complete and interesting picture and made it a "book" rather than a high school essay.
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Format: Kindle Edition
there is so much filling in his book that i gave up.
the author did have some good points but they are drowned in complex stories: the exact thing the author was trying to inspire us overcome. pity.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.1 out of 5 stars 184 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “Insanely Simple…” was recommended to me as a complimentary reading 3 November 2014
By Jason Wadas - Published on
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As a current student at the University of Baltimore enrolled in its Entrepreneurial Experience course, “Insanely Simple…” was recommended to me as a complimentary reading. After reading, it was clear to see why as this book gives good insight into how Apple revolutionized its industry as well as influencing countless others with its model of simplicity. Each chapter breakdowns a point in Apple’s system of simplicity with ideas being conveyed such as think brutal, think casual, think human, etc. It also gives a good look into how meetings took place with then CEO Steve Jobs, and how these meetings would differ from other companies which not only was entertaining to read about, but also very insightful as it really almost teaches that meetings do not have to be conducted in the status quo. The only thing that I didn’t like about the book was it seemed repetitive at times with its message about simplicity, but even this drawback in my opinion serves a purpose as the author is trying hard to convey that the model of simplicity is the way to run a business. I would recommend reading this book if you are interested at all in Entrepreneurship or a current student, and also any other current students or anyone interested at all in business or Apple in general. It’s a nice, easy read and easy to digest the numerous knowledge that is within. This book is especially helpful to entrepreneurship students as it breaks down a great model of how to start up and run a business while maintaining simplicity. As evidenced by Apple’s enormous success this model should not be taken lightly.
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, electric narrative 9 March 2015
By Nakia Brown - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Insanely Simple reads as a vibrant, narrative modern business book. A book that is white and glassy. A book that is large and iconic. Positioning complexity as the villain of success, Segall focuses on the importance of simplicity. Segall's admiration of Jobs cannot be understated. Job’s influence on Segall supports many philosophies he proposes and is the source of his many patterns of thought. At the same time, Segall has the ability to point out the flaws in Jobs and exercises this ability at various times, while discussing the hardship of maintaining simplicity.

Segall, worked as a marketing provider to Apple and many other large IT companies such as Dell and Intel. He derives many of his stories from his work experience with multiple companies, and compares and contrasts the practices of particular companies and the outcome. For instance, Segall explores when Jobs decided that Apple needed a new branding campaign and was able to launch the “think different” campagain within a month, while its competitor, Dell, had not created a successful campaign after 6 months.

The "simple stick" idea is explored through this narrative, providing real life experiences and not shabby, outdated business models and also shows the importance of utilizing the “simple stick” in marketing. Segall's admiration for Jobs created a narrative-style book, full of stories that allowed the reader to see how Job's worked and what in turn worked for the company. However, there are various times through the book, where the author’s admiration did not allow him to think outside of this context and easily could be comprehended as “What would Apple Do?” theme.

Overall, the insight into Apple was extremely helpful; however ironically, the book could use some simplifying. If one is able to filter out the lessons from the stories, it may be helpful, but if one would like a step-by-step guide for management, marketing and positive business practices, this may not be a practical resource. I am a University of Baltimore student, enrolled in an entrepreneurship course and this was one of my recommended reading. I enjoyed this book and would recommend this for nascent business owners and other entrepreneur students as the marketing strategies discussed could provide a plethora of ideas that one continue building upon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UB Student: Insanely Simple 24 March 2014
By Maria D. - Published on
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I am a University of Baltimore Student and I read “Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success” by Ken Segall for a Class Assignment. Segall, an advertising executive, shares his personal experiences as he watched Steve Jobs build a company around the idea of simplicity. Steve Jobs believed simplicity returned the best results, and you see through these untold stories that he did whatever he had to do to achieve simplicity. Segall gives 10 elements of simplicity that drives Apple’s success, illustrated though inside stories of Apple and Steve Jobs. Segall stresses that simplicity is not easy. He takes you through different campaigns of Apple that were a success, or even a failure, which helps you learn even through the mistakes of Apple.
I enjoyed how Segall gave advice to the reader through personal experience and stories, which helped paint a picture of Simplicity. The stories reflected the 10 elements Segall stressed, which were the solution to achieving simplicity.
Even though the stories were interesting, as I got halfway through the book I felt that the book was beginning to become repetitive. Segall used many words and stories that were similar, repeated, or unneeded. For each element he used several stories to portray the main idea, however it could have been done in one story with one explanation.
This book is useful to other entrepreneurship students because it is a How-to manual without the lecture. It is a very interesting book, especially for Apple fans. It is very intriguing to read about Steve Jobs and how he built Apple with the idea of Simplicity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplicity is indeed the best policy... 21 March 2014
By Muhammad - Published on
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I am a junior at the University of Baltimore enrolled in the Entrepreneurship course and this book was recommended to me as an assignment. This book keeps you involved till the very end. It is not just a book about an idea gone successful but a tale full of emotions and drama. The best part of this book is the way it is written by the author. With a bit of wit in his tone he has beautifully described the journey of success in the easiest of ways which can be understood by a layman. As described by the author Jobs not only got what he wanted by establishing his own standards but he invented a model of simplicity inside the organization. He made these simple values the ultimate culture of the organization. Moreover experience of working in Dell and Intel gave the author much more insights of each organization and he was able to narrate his personal stories and experiences by comparing it to Apple. That not only explained the simple standards set by Jobs at the organization but it also enlightened the simplicity of Apple's products. The only thing which I don't like about this book is the amount of filler words the author has used. The word simplicity seemed monotonous and over exaggerated sometimes. He may sound right most of the times relating simplicity to human nature but at the end of the day it is a personal opinion of the author to perceive things in that way. Still it is a good read and I would highly recommend this book to people who are interested in starting their own business as this provides you the basic guidelines required as well as the essence and importance of simplicity in their respective start-ups.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Fun and Interesting Illustrations 4 June 2013
By J. Robideau - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the stories to be the best part of this book. There were a few key quotes and principles sprinkled throughout that I ended up highlighting, but the stories are what will stick with me.

The stories were on topic for the most part, but I couldn't help thinking that the book should have concluded a bit sooner.

This book is highly recommended if you are looking for an entertaining book to shed more light on the subject of simplicity and how to achieve it in a business environment.