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Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success
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Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,583 ratings  ·  182 reviews
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.

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 26th 2012 by Portfolio Penguin (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Peter Labrow
Of all of the books jumping on the Steve Jobs bandwagon, this is perhaps the one that’s most of value.

This is perhaps the one management book which has really resonated with me since Don Peppers and Martha Rogers’ The One-To-One Future. Let’s face it, that’s not great: that was published in 1996.

I’m old enough to have worked for organisations both large and small – as an employee and as an outside supplier. It can be frustrating to be working for an organisation that has a core of brilliance but
Could have used some editing. For a book espousing the advantages of "Simplicity", it could have used some chopping. He basically makes the same point about 15 times before launching into some interesting stories. 100 pages of good stuff, 100 pages of fluff.
Phil Simon
Yes, this book is that good. It's quite possibly the most important marketing book since Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin. Segall shows us how Apple's maniacal emphasis on simplicity distinguishes it from Microsoft, Dell, HP, Intel, and other tech stalwarts.

In an age in which consumers are king, inundating them with features and specs is exactly the wrong approach. Rather, as Segall shows, Apple (through Steve Jobs and continuing under Tim Cook) does the oppo
Interesting and easy-to-read take on Steve Jobs and Apple from a marketer's perspective. However, I found it really distasteful how he criticized and shared negative insider details about his former clients, particularly Dell. I felt he broke the consultant's unspoken code of conduct. He also shared an anecdote where he let a colleague fail miserably in front of Steve Jobs and, in Segall's own words "So I started doing what any brave advertising guy would do: I made sure I sat outside the line o ...more
This is a quirky and charmingly plain collection of anecdotes about Segall's interactions with Steve Jobs, and, more importantly, his takeaway lessons from Apple's success. It is, by design, a cherry-picked history, but in that it actually succeeds where Walter Isaacson's authorized biography failed. Isaacson spent so much time making sure his Steve was well rounded and fairly covered, he forgot to find (for lack of searching, it seems) any cause for the man's mindblowing career. Segall gets to ...more
I DNF this audiobook at +/- 75%

As a more than 20 years Apple products user I was curious to read/listen this book. Some parts of it were interesting, unfortunately there was too much uninteresting rambling and the narration was kind of monotonous.
Like most people who work at the intersection of programming and user experience, I am a big fan of simple. Because of this I thought this book would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, I was so wrong that I had to put this book down after getting only half way through it.

My main problem with the book is that this book never really defines, or even seems to have a good understanding of, what the term Simple means. In the end this is not a book about simplicity, it is a book about how much the
Timothy Chklovski
Disappointing book that promotes power of brutally direct communication and simplicity, and then proceeds to go into anecdotes of tiptoeing around Steve's snap judgements, and packaging things so he might like them.
Does have a good, clear call for a company knowing what its mission is, and the kind of strength a company can derive from building products that meet its high bar and reinforce its key philosophy.
Roy Deseo
“Simple can be harder than
complex. You have to work hard to
get your thinking clean to make
it simple. But it’s worth it in the
end, because once you get there,
you can move mountains.”
—Steve Jobs”

The book speaks of only one thing, 'Simplicity'. But mind you, that simplicity has produced and is currently being observed by a multi-billion dollar company, nuff said! This book is just a snappy glimpse in Steve's professionalism. Recommended for young individuals who aspire in jumping-up their level of
Představte si, že život Ježíše se skládal povětšinou z událostí, jako bylo zlořečení fíkovníku... a vy chcete napsat evangelium.

Mytickou bytostí není v Insanely Simple syn tesaře ale minulý CEO Apple. Na sbírku historek z jeho života jich je málo, na rozbor jednoduchosti chybí cokoli hlubšího než "lidé to mají rádi jednoduché" a jako pokus zmapovat vznik některých produktů kniha stojí za houby, protože je napsal reklamkář a ne někdo, kdo má páru (iPhone je jednoduchý, protože má jedno tlačítko
Christa Pusateri
Interesting stories behind the iconic Apple advertising campaigns combined with some great advice on how to stay focused on the simple, even when it's not easy.
Priscilia Rui
If there is only one book of Apple that I would take with me, it would most probably be Insanely Simple, though I have Jony Ive's biography lined up on my TBR.

Insanely Simple is a book that uses Apple as a company to teach that world how a successful company such as Apple work. Apple today feels like a matter-of-fact event in our history today but many have forgotten that Apple is a rebel at its core. It is a rebel because it chooses simplicity over complexity. It created revolutions after revo
Julia Doherty
I really enjoyed this book (more so than Steve Jobs autobiography). It has some fantastic stories, and shows what a scary person Steve was to work with, but how his brain worked with regards to hitting marketing with the "Simple Stick".

I had some great takeaways from this book that I will implement for my business such as:-

1. I will look at my website from a different perspective - is it simple enough and easy to find what you are looking for?

2. Marketing messages - should be one message only.
Ash Menon
May 14, 2014 Ash Menon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for some good managerial lessons, and doesn't mind wading through Jobsmania
You're going to have to put in some extra work on this book to actually get the point that Segall is trying to covey. For a book espousing the virtues of simplicity, Segall rarely takes his own advice. Truly, this book could have been around 30% shorter, and lose no value for it.

Another point of contention I had with this is that Segall, it would seem, has no point of reference for Simplicity outside of Apple. Or more accurately, outside of Steve Jobs. As Segall's work is very much a core buildi
Amitesh Maheshwari
Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success This book is not about Apple's design principle or how to achieve Simplicity. The book is more about Steve Jobs and the way he used to avoid complex/conventional processes, even being a CEO of big company like Apple. Author sometimes also loosely compared working style of IBM, Intel, Dell with that of Apple, which was not so convincing. But there are some interesting stories about the Apple products like iMac, iPhone and the legendary "T ...more
I gained a lot from the power of simplicity through the stories told by the author, Ken Segall, who has spent a number of years working with Steve Jobs as an agency writer. While the lessons about simplicity are simple and follow common sense, it is hard for us to keep at it as complexity always creeps in. It is also refreshing to read about the inside stories from an insider. A lot of these stories I hear for the first time even though I have read a number of books about Steve Jobs and Apple in ...more
Prayag Panchwadkar
Read only if you are an Apple fanboy or have read no other book on Apple. Most of the stories in the book are widely known.
The writing style has little structure or flow. Most of the book follows a "Steve did this, steve did that" kind of approach.
Good only for a few good Apple stories which hadn't been shared previously which you will find if you search for reviews of the book online.
Ranjan Atreya
This book is a must read for anyone doing any kind of business. Actually come to think of it, the points in this book can pretty much apply to all of life. The hardest thing is to keep things simple and in example after example Ken Segall burrows this idea into our idea using the greatest example of simplicity personified in Steve Jobs. What seems like common sense in hindsight is so difficult to see when actually working and as I read through the book, I could relate to mistake after mistake th ...more
Not a good book. To me Ken Segall seems to just take advantage of the fact that he worked with Jobs and saw him hitting every body with the "simple stick". Did he learn anything from working with Jobs? not clear. Did he apply the learning? No. Have I learned something? No.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly.

It's eye-opening to see Simplicity so crystallized in processes, products and people. Once you grok how nefarious Complexity is, it's difficult to ever again be complacent.
Some great stories in here. Unfortunately, it often feels like Ken is on the outside looking in. Plus the book is poorly organized with stories repeated. It would have been better organized chronologically.
If Ken Segall was really a disciple of Simplicity, this book would be 1/8 its published length. Spoiler alert: Steve Jobs saved Apple when he triumphantly returned to the helm in 1997.
Ravi Sinha
'The simple stick', 'A small group of smart people' - Apple's insatiable obsession with simplicity, and the fact that it takes a lot of hard work to create something that's simple to use - the book delves very well into all these aspects. It tends to be a little too geared toward advertisers and marketers, and not so much toward coders and researchers. Otherwise it is a great read, full of anecdotes about Apple, contrasting Apple's way and lack of 'process' compared to several other corporate be ...more
Almost seems like an eulogy to Steve Jobs! Other than some juicy insights into Apple's marketing and work ethic, the rest is 'simply' repetitive.

Jose Alguacil
Flojo y pobre. Pro una buena recopilación de experiencias de Steve Jobs y su agencia.
No vale nada salvo por ver como trabajaba en algunos aspectos este tipo
Daliso Ngoma
Great read. Gives a good overview into what Apple is all about. As the title aptly puts it, it is in essence all about simplicity and how you can apply it to yourself and your organisation.

Through out the book you see the theme of simplicity contrasting with complexity. And with the added benefit of all the blunders Apple has gotten themselves into but how they were able to turn it around.

One other great thing about the book is that in the conclusion there is summary of each chapter, which gives
Christina Furtado
Fairly obvious examples but good points none-the-less and a quick, easy read.
Jaron Dunford
Simple Stick - Apple has a deep almost religious belief in simplicity

Promoting the value of simplicity you will be the one.
People prefer simplicity. Given the option, people will chose the simple path vs one that seems more complicated.

Microsoft created the Zune store, it offered Microsoft points for their music playing devices. It required customers to purchase points by the 100's then used a conversion rate of 80 points to the dollar to buy a .99 cent song.

Their is difference between being bru
The spectacular success of Apple is well known—but that’s not to say it’s well understood.

Simplicity is not base. It is not easy. It is complex and messy and the result of slashing and cutting every thing you can while keeping something whole and real and worthwhile.

• 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 “sma
Ryan Brockey
This book is written by one of the advertising and marketing guys that has worked with Apple for decades. He wrote the book for business leaders. The stated aim of the book is to help those business leaders embrace the simplicity that helped Apple turn around and become one of the most successful companies, and well-known brands, in the world.

That is not why I read the book.

Ken Segall worked closely with Steve Jobs for a long time and I was hoping to get a first-hand account of Jobs as the leade
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“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.” 1 likes
“he was just being himself, and I was happy that at least the ice was broken, even though part of my ego was broken as well.” 0 likes
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