Customer Review

96 of 112 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Steve stories but too much filler material, April 29, 2012
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This review is from: Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success (Kindle Edition)
This book needs a dose of its own medicine. The previously unpublished stories about Steve Jobs and Apple are real gems. But in much of the rest of the book, the author mostly invokes a silly narrative of battle between Simplicity and Complexity and falls back to insipid conclusions such as "Simplicity attracts" and "Simplicity has universal appeal". Well, of course. We don't need the author to persuade us of that.

The author compares Apple to companies like Dell and Intel, which have confusing product portfolios and marketing messages. But why do they? The author credits Steve's direct involvement in the creative process and lack of patience for big meetings and formal presentations. He explains that in a good working relationship, both sides are upfront and don't withhold problems from each other, and this creates the best results. Beyond that, there's not much more insight or deep ruminations about the nature of simplicity, which I would have appreciated. I know from experience [I worked at Apple during the second Steve era] that simplicity is rarely just a matter of wielding the Simple Stick, as the author seems to suggest. (Even when it is, it sure helps to be the CEO.)

I can imagine this book started out as a personal collection of Steve stories--for which I would have gladly given 5 stars. At some point, some publisher or marketing person probably decided that this book wouldn't appeal to the masses unless it were written as a management book, so as it stands, this book also tries to dispense business advice. A Steve quote (ironically, included in this book) comes to mind: "Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 16, 2012 9:06:53 AM PDT
Savant11 says:
You're right about the principle of 'simplicity' of working if you're CEO. Since Jobs was in charge he was able to get away with a lot. I essentially picked up the book because I was really curious as to see how someone as rude and abrassive as Jobs could succeed in business when most people would be fired for that kind of behaviour.

Posted on Jun 25, 2012 8:39:35 PM PDT
I can't get past the beginning of this book for the same reason. I don't feel like the author is really saying anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2012 9:45:18 AM PDT
Enteecee says:
I think being proven right again and again and again helps with that.

Posted on Sep 2, 2012 1:47:47 PM PDT
I enjoyed reading the book, but agree with your basic premise that there is too much filler material. But its still a good read IMO.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 9:00:15 AM PST
Citizen John says:
Those are great insights into the book and from the book's author about Jobs.

Segall's points about Job's lack of patience for big meetings seems important. My personal experience is that when companies go through troubles like declining sales, the number and duration of meetings increases. I believe they do this to reaffirm the hierarchy, but Jobs didn't have patience for that behavior.
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