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Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success Paperback – April 30, 2013
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Segall worked with Steve Jobs for 12 years, as creative director at Apple and NeXT Computer, and also spent time as agency global creative director at Dell, IBM, Intel, and BMW. As the man who came up with the iconic iMac name, which launched one of the most successful product lines in history, Segall played a pivotal role in reviving Apple from near death. His close working relationship with Jobs allows him to provide insight into how Jobs’ obsession with simplicity became the driving force that informs every decision the company makes to this day, from product design to advertising, even down to the packing boxes. Segall contrasts this Apple mind-set with those of companies like Dell, Intel, and Microsoft, where complexity and a dizzying array of product choices only serve to confuse and distract customers. His recounting of high-level meetings, ad campaigns, and product-naming sessions reveals much about how Jobs’ unyielding, brutally honest approach pushed aside rivals, teams of lawyers, and everyone else who said it couldn’t be done to remake Apple into one of the most admired and valuable companies in the world. --David Siegfried --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“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.”
“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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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.
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.