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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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Length: 234 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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
  • X-Ray:
  • 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) 4.2 out of 5 stars 182 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely Simple Review 14 October 2016
By samantha schaden - Published on
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I am a senior at the University of Baltimore, and I enrolled in the Entrepreneurship course. This book was my recommended reading. “Insanely Simple”, was an inspiring book, as you can apply most of the points made into anything in life. I find that keeping things simple is one of the hardest things to do, especially in a world where bigger and more is usually perceived as better. With this being my first book I ever read about Apple and Steve Jobs, I truly appreciated how Ken Segall told his personal stories about his dealings with Steve Jobs and his takeaways from Apple’s success. He speaks about the concept of small groups with smart people and about being brutally honest when communicating with others. I found this very intriguing because we always want to include everyone and hear everyone’s ideas, but this can waste valuable time. I enjoyed how Segall indulges on this principle of small groups with smart people that focus on the important collaborative and problem-solving tasks in a meeting. I did not like how he bashed other companies for their complexity.
This book might be helpful to other entrepreneurship students because it helps you to clear up your thoughts and keep them simple. If you are going to adopt simplicity, you need to do it across all aspects of your business. The lessons about simplicity are simple, practical and utilize common sense. In reality, it is hard for us to keep the complexity from creeping in.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 17 October 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am currently a student at the University of Baltimore and this book was required reading for an Entrepreneurship survey class that I'm taking this semester. I truly enjoyed the ideas about minimalism and how process can often stifle creativity and true productivity. Much of the book is a chronicle of the professional life of the late Steven Jobs. It follows his progressing from Apple to NeXT to Pixar and back to Apple. While the familiar story of Jobs' life as a CEO is enjoyable, it almost takes away from the teachings of simplicity and streamlining processes. At the same time the stories of Steve's time at Apple and the way he conducted meetings, contributed to multiple projects across his organization and was always brutally honest all attest to Segall's claims that simplicity was the driving concept behind Apple's unprecedented success under Jobs' reign as CEO. I really enjoyed the comparison of Apple's organizational culture against those of other tech giants such as Intel and IBM. There was a good bit of reflection that noted each businesses operating model was directly tied to they way that they were founded. Apple began as a small start-up company with just a few smart guys, nurturing a great idea. Apple operated with this same idea of of small groups, focused solely on one objective, with those few talented, creative individuals being responsible for the success of the project.

I was able to tie many of the ideas presented in the book into my everyday life. I work in a rather large organization that could benefit from a few lessons on simplicity and a few doses of minimalism. During the middle sections of the book, we see how overcrowded meetings, overpopulated projects and unclear communication can be huge killers of creative productivity. I agree with these examples and plan to lend concepts of minimalism to my own education and professional career.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insanely Simple was recommended to me for an assignment that I had this ... 5 October 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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Insanely Simple was recommended to me for an assignment that I had this semester. I’m a student at the University of Baltimore taking a survey Entrepreneurship course. This book is a very easy read and teaches a great lesson about keeping things simple and sticking to it while running a business. It was a little difficult for me to get into initially because I knew nothing about Apple’s business model nor did I know much about Steve Jobs. I had the preconceived notion that this book would be about technology which isn’t my field of interest. However, not long into it, I realized that it had nothing to do about technology and everything to do about running a business. I love how the author tells stories throughout the book which makes it more interesting as opposed to textbook style with bullets and lessons, etc. I did feel however, that the message becomes redundant after a while. Yes simplicity is key, but how many stories about Steve’s interactions with people do we need to hear in order to get the message. I did gain a lot of respect for Steve Jobs after reading the book. Nonetheless, this book is great for anyone who is in a decision making position, whether you are a CEO or starting your own company. There is a lot to learn about keeping things simple and this book illustrates how Steve Jobs mastered it and brought Apple back to the number one spot. Great Read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely Simple, yet insanely amazing!!! 8 March 2017
By Rick Neal - Published on
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"Insanely Simple" is insanely amazing! As someone that is already a business owner, it provides so much insight of different ways that I can take my business that is already established and make it just that much better! As a current junior at the University of Baltimore, this book was assigned as a recommended reading from my professor for my Entrepreneurship survey course. I would recommend this book to ANYBODY that is interested in the entrepreneurship path or anybody that is just intrigued in start-up businesses and their development. The simplicity explained and the methods used by Steve Jobs show not only the true passion that he had for his company, but also show that you don’t need to overthink and make things too complex for a company to thrive and become a true household brand. Rather than using large groups of complex people, Apple learned the benefits of using small groups of smart people, and this book explains exactly how it not only benefited Apple, but how it could also benefit you and the start-up phase of your business.
4.0 out of 5 stars but to business as a whole which makes it a great read for anyone looking to start a business or ... 7 March 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Insanely Simple is about Ken Segall’s experience in the marketing world working with Steve Jobs at both Apple and NeXT as a Creative Director. It’s a book of lessons in simplicity that applies not only to marketing, but to business as a whole which makes it a great read for anyone looking to start a business or help take a business to the next level.
I enjoyed reading this book as it was quite an easy read and I was able to follow along even though I don’t really have any marketing experience. Marketing experience or knowledge is not necessary as the lessons can be applied to all departments and all companies. Segall challenges the reader to forego Complexity and adapt to Simplicity which he believes is the key to Apple’s success.
I liked how Segall shared his experiences working with Steve Jobs, but kept it on the business and didn’t use the book as a tell-all about the late founder and CEO. He clearly enjoyed working for Jobs and thought very highly of him as a leader. Segall did work for other large companies so I don’t believe he is bias in his views, but I also believe that Apple has to fall short in some areas and I wish that would have been addressed. Perhaps in his eyes he doesn’t believe that to be true.

I am a University of Baltimore student enrolled in the survey Entrepreneurship course and that this was your recommended reading.

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