On April 26, Ken Segall’s new book is scheduled to hit store shelves. Entitled “Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success,” the exposé isn’t a Steve Jobs biography in the vein of Walter Isaacson’s 2011 masterwork, but it does feature a bit of insight into what made the man — and his leadership policies — so overwhelmingly successful.
Segall, an advertising director who worked with Jobs during his days at NeXT and Apple, has gleaned the following eight rules that define Apple’s continuing success. Budding CEOs, take note (via iDownloadBlog):
Simpler is always better: Jobs’ advice: “One product, one box”.
Blunt communication works: Bluntness leaves no room for confusion, distraction or complexity.
Good leaders can compartmentalize: Jobs compartmentalized criticism so he could move towards his goals.
Small groups work better: Restrict meetings to people who would be discussing the topic at hand.
Keep things minimal and move quickly: Apple campaigns are put out within a month.
Simple names are superior: Apple does not hire naming experts, it relies on a small internal team and a group of advertising consultants.
Simplicity is human: Not a five-gigabyte drive on an iPod, but a “thousand songs in your pocket”.
Simplicity even works in retail: Focus on quality, uncluttered and inviting design and fantastic customer service.
The list is certainly apt. I’m particularly fond of Apple’s proclivity to keep naming to a minimum (where the company appears to have recently kicked it up a notch) and am a firm believer that the importance of product spec should, whenever possible, be expressed in those aforesaid “human” terms.
Of course, all this is just a tiny part of Segall’s exposition, and there promise to be many more gems in his 240-page treatise.