Insanely Simple Book Summary - Insanely Simple Book explained in key points
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Insanely Simple summary

Ken Segall

The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success

4.4 (153 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

Insanely Simple by Ken Segall is a business book that explores Steve Jobs' approach to simplicity and how it drove his success. It provides insights and practical tips on how to simplify products, communications, and strategies for business growth.

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    Insanely Simple
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    People prefer simplicity over complexity.

    Have you ever bought a new computer with such complicated new features that you couldn’t get it to work? This type of complexity is a problem in our modern world because humans, just like all other life on the planet, prefer simplicity.

    We know that nature doesn’t choose the most complicated way to solve a problem. Rather, it finds the simplest way. In fact, it’s often the simplest species that are the most successful.

    Take earthworms for example: they’re incredibly simple organisms, yet they’ve outlived thousands of more complex species.

    Simplicity seems to be natural, and as humans, we prefer it when our lives are made as simple as possible.

    This can be seen in the way we choose the products we use in our everyday lives: we tend to prefer simple ones over complex.

    Product complexity became an issue for Microsoft when they created the Zune Store. Instead of allowing customers to simply pay for a song with their credit cards (as Apple does), customers first had to convert their money into Microsoft Points.

    Microsoft’s designers didn’t think about simplicity and, consequently, the Zune Store never caught on.

    This shows that, given a choice between a complex or simple way to reach a goal, people will most likely choose the simplest option. Companies that understand this know to make their products as simple as possible.

    Apple’s stores are a great example. As soon as you step inside, you’re greeted by a minimalist decor and your options (to buy or repair something) are clearly demarcated. That’s why the stores are so popular, especially in comparison to Microsoft’s stores, which are over-packed with products and offer too many choices.

    By understanding the human need for simplicity, you can build enduring business-customer relationships.

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    Key ideas in Insanely Simple

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    What is Insanely Simple about?

    Insanely Simple talks about the business strategy of keeping things simple. The author hones in on Apple’s inner processes to show us how we can apply simplicity to our work and why complexity can hinder a company’s development. The reader will learn about how Steve Jobs implemented this structure at Apple and upheld it even in the face of critics.

    Insanely Simple Review

    Insanely Simple (2012) by Ken Segall is a book that explores the power of simplicity in business and design. Here's why we think it's a worthwhile read:

    • The book highlights the importance of simplicity in fostering innovation, boosting creativity, and achieving success in today's complex world.
    • Through real-life examples and case studies, Segall demonstrates how simplicity can solve problems, enhance the customer experience, and differentiate brands.
    • With its practical insights and thought-provoking ideas, the book engages readers and inspires them to embrace simplicity in their own lives and work.

    Best quote from Insanely Simple

    The simpler path is the far more attractive one.

    —Ken Segall
    example alt text

    Who should read Insanely Simple?

    • Anyone intrigued by Apple’s success
    • Anyone who wants to make their company more efficient
    • Anyone interested in Steve Jobs and his working attitude

    About the Author

    Ken Segall was an advertising agency creative director for NeXT and Apple, and worked closely with Steve Jobs for many years. He also served as a creative director for Dell, BMW and Intel. He is the man responsible for the “i” in many of Apple’s most popular products and was part of revolutionary campaigns, such as the “Think Different” ad campaign.

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    Insanely Simple FAQs 

    What is the main message of Insanely Simple?

    The main message of Insanely Simple is that simplicity is the key to innovation and success.

    How long does it take to read Insanely Simple?

    The reading time for Insanely Simple varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Insanely Simple a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Insanely Simple is definitely worth reading. It provides valuable insights on how simplicity can transform businesses and drive better results.

    Who is the author of Insanely Simple?

    Ken Segall is the author of Insanely Simple.

    What to read after Insanely Simple?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Insanely Simple, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo
    • Strategy Rules by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano
    • Think Simple by Ken Segall
    • Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
    • Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
    • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
    • Mindset by Carol Dweck
    • To Pixar and Beyond by Lawrence Levy
    • On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis
    • The Art of Influence by Chris Widener