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Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  2,336 Ratings  ·  220 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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Jul 21, 2012 Jmswtsn rated it it was ok
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.
Peter Labrow
May 09, 2012 Peter Labrow rated it really liked it
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
Phil Simon
Apr 27, 2012 Phil Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
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
Apr 24, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it
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
Apr 24, 2014 Erik rated it did not like it
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
May 14, 2012 Neven rated it really liked it
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
Mar 23, 2014 Glamdring rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Roy Deseo
Dec 29, 2012 Roy Deseo rated it really liked it
“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
May 11, 2013 Satai rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Timothy Chklovski
Feb 11, 2015 Timothy Chklovski rated it it was ok
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.
Prayag Panchwadkar
May 16, 2012 Prayag Panchwadkar rated it it was ok
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.
May 18, 2012 Keith rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 05, 2012 Tom rated it it was ok
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.
Jun 25, 2014 Stef rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 05, 2013 Amie rated it did not like it
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.
Jose Alguacil
Jul 05, 2013 Jose Alguacil rated it it was ok
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
Sep 06, 2012 Tanuja rated it it was ok
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.

Christa Pusateri
Jul 15, 2015 Christa Pusateri rated it it was amazing
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.
Christina Furtado
Aug 01, 2013 Christina Furtado rated it it was ok
Fairly obvious examples but good points none-the-less and a quick, easy read.
Melike Beykoz
Thinking simple eases life both for consumers and producers

This book is looking to Apple- Steve Jobs's life from a marketing point of view. I liked the experiences the author shared about Steve Jobs. But production and technology which is also a major area was missing. I didn't like his approach when he comments on competitors like Dell.
Shawn Ward
Dec 29, 2016 Shawn Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple It Isn't

The book does an incredible job using Apple's road map to explain its definition at its best. Insanely simple is not easy, it's complicated.
Milan Zinzuvadiya
Nov 12, 2016 Milan Zinzuvadiya rated it liked it
author tries to prove same point 10 times. I enjoy stories of Steve Jobs.
Tom Krug
Oct 11, 2016 Tom Krug rated it really liked it
Recommended by Margo S
Priscilia Rui
Dec 04, 2014 Priscilia Rui rated it it was amazing
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
Ash Menon
May 14, 2014 Ash Menon rated it liked it
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
Jaron Dunford
Jul 19, 2015 Jaron Dunford rated it liked it
Shelves: read-business
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
Jun 29, 2014 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 21, 2012 gatorlog rated it liked it
광고대행사 Chiat/Day 시절부터 스티브잡스의 마케팅 대행일을 해주면서 애플사의 iMac에 i자를 애플 제품들의 고유명으로 자리잡게 한 광고컨설턴트 Ken Segall씨는 애플사의 성공을 견인했던 중요한 요인은 모든 점에서 “simple”한데 있다고 주장한다. 단순함을 위한 스티브잡스의 열정은 디자인은 물론이고 마케팅, 조직관리, 그리고 유통에 이르기까지 애플사 전분야에 걸친 비즈니스 철학으로 자립잡는다. 심지어 애플은 구매 대상층의 분석도 단 하나로 통일해 버렸다. 바로 “사람”이다. 마케팅 전문가들이 보면 가장 비과학적인 마켓 분할이 아니던가? 다른 회사들은 비즈니스 컴퓨팅 시장과 일반 소비자 시장을 나누고, 그 안에서 또 다양한 소비자 세분화(세그멘테이션)를 시도한다. 운영체제도 가정용, 학생용, 전문가용등으로 나뉘고 MS오피스도 마찬가지다. 하지만 애플은 단 한번도 기업 고객 시장을 위한 제품 차별화나 마케팅 기획을 한 적이 없다. 또 조직관리에서도 스티브잡스는 단순함외 ...more
Julia Doherty
Sep 21, 2014 Julia Doherty rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 05, 2015 Erwin rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite, business
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
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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.” 3 likes
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 1 likes
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