I just finished Insanely Simple, by Ken Segall. Here are some of my notes and thoughts from the book.
As those who have worked with Apple will attest, the simpler way isn’t aways the easiest. Often it requires more time, more money, and more energy. It might require your o step on a few toes. But more times than not, it will lead to measurably better results.
Simplicity enables Apple to revolutionize repeatedly. It needs a champion – someone who’s willing to stand up for its principles and strong enough to resist the overtures of Simplicity’s evil twin, Complexity. It needs someone who’s willing to guide a process with both head and heart.
Given the option, any sane person will choose the simple path over one that’s more complicated. Simplicity is the love child of the two most powerful forces in business: Brains and Common Sense.
- Apple encourages big thinking but small everything else. Their guiding principle is to start with small groups of smart people and keep them small. Everytime the body count goes higher, you’re simply inviting Complexity to take a seat at the table. Everyone in the room should be there for a reason. Either you are critical to the meeting or you’re not. Everyone should be an essential participant. Thinking putting more people on a project will improve results is basically admitting you don’t have confidence in the group you started with.
- You cannot legislate productivity with corporate guidelines.
- “We’re organized like a start-up. We’re the biggest start-up on the planet.” – Steve Jobs, All Things Digital Conference, 2010.
- The quality of work resulting from a project is inversely proportional to the number of people involved in the project. The more people you put in a room, the lower your chances of getting anything good out of it.
- Simplicity is an all or none proposition.
- Machine like analysis does not magically yield creative brilliance. When process i king, ideas will never be. It takes only Common SEnse to recognize that the more layers you add to a process, the more watered down the final work will become.
- Simplicity is the ultimate efficiency.
- People think focus meanings 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. – Steve Jobs, Worldwide Development Conference, 1997.
- Actively resist to desire to make new products because you can.
- Most companies can’t stop themselves from responding to every opportunity, trying to please every customer and close every sale – when in fact they would be better served by making their product lineup logical and easier to navigate.
- Minimizing requires audacity. Cut everything down to its essence. Those who believe in Simplicity believe that good ideas need to be protected from those who would do them damage.
- Your point ail be more quickly understood, and more easily remembered, if you don’t clutter it up with other points. The more things you ask people to focus on, the fewer they’ll remember. Don’t say a hundred things quietly. Say one thing loudly.
- Minimize your message from the start. It’s easiest to simplify before you start.
- When in doubt, minimize.
- Being competitive without being arrogant is a difficult thing.
- There’s nothing tricky or manipulative about the way Apple talks to its current and potential customers. Apple’s tone is consistent with its core values – with Simplicity being core value number one.
- In Steve’s mind, it was his job to dream up products people can’t imagine.
- It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. – Steve Jobs, BusinessWeek, 1998.
Overall, this was a great book. Grab it in my Amazon store (along with other books I’ve read and recommend)