Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Insanely Simple

Once I had started Ken Segall's book "Insanely Simple - The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success", I could not put it down till I reached the last page.

Simplicity requires strong character, smarts, courage, creativity, even obsession, and very hard work.  When achieved, it might just help move the human race forward.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.   Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.  Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.   You are already naked.  There is no reason not to follow your heart....  (Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement address, June 12, 2005)
Your heart, presumably, wants to lead you to excellence.   (Otherwise, be distrustful of your heart.)

Here is an example from Segall, illustrating simplicity versus complexity:

Apple set out to create a brand campaign in 1997.
Dell set out to create a brand campaign in 2008.

Apple wanted to start its campaign immediately.
Dell pondered a schedule that would take months.

Apple's brand team was led by its CEO.
Dell's brand team was led by a committee.

Apple trusted a small group of smart people.
Dell trusted a small group of incompatible people.

Apple knew exactly who it was.
Dell needed to figure out who it was.

Steve Jobs was an active participant.
Michael Dell would look in when the project was complete.

Apple's brand team required only the CEO's approval.
Dell's brand team required each division's approval.

Apple took a month to conceive and create a strategy.
Dell required a month just to talk about strategies.

Apple ended up with the Think Different campaign.
Dell ended up with a stack of presentation boards stored neatly in a dark closet.