Notes from Reading: Think Simple, How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity

This was one of the very first book I have read about Apple, Ken Segall {author} was part of external team which came up with some beautiful advertisement for Apple.  In this book he shares all his experince about working with Steve Jobs, culture at Apple and what makes it unique company.

These are some of my Kindle notes from the book:

    1. Minimizing the choices provides customers with a simpler path, a better value, and a happier frame of mind.
    2. Charging excessive prices and offering confusing choices make customers feel like they’re being squeezed for every extra dollar.
    3. The easiest way to screw up a project is to give it too much time—enough time for people to rethink, revise, have second thoughts, invite others into the project, get more opinions, conduct tests, etc.
    4. To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.
    5. Apple continues to market its products as it always has in an emotional, human manner, pointing out benefits rather than specs.
    6. When people trust a brand and see real value in it, they’re willing to pay more for it. If you have a strong brand, as Apple does today, you can charge a premium price and people will line up to pay it. Profit margins are high.
    7. You can tell a lot about someone by the people he or she admires.
    8. Apple at the core, its core value, is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.
    9. The common problem dealing with any client. Once they’ve fallen in love with something you don’t like, the only way to really move them off of it is to show them something better.
    10. Interesting thing about the way Steve Jobs worked. He had an opinion. A very strong opinion. The kind of opinion that might knock you over and kick you a few times. But that’s not to say he wasn’t reasonable or wouldn’t ultimately change his mind if confronted with heartfelt opinions presented with passion.
    11. Apple doesn’t just keep naming simple for the sake of brand-building. It keeps naming simple so it doesn’t confuse the hell out of people. At the end of the day, that’s what Simplicity does best. With perfect clarity, it tells customers who you are and what you sell.
    12. Complexity has a nasty habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
    13. At the end of the day, most businesses come down to relationships. A less formal presentation with honest debate is the way to strengthen your relationships—and get better results.
    14. From the beginning, Apple has succeeded because it makes products that reflect human values.
    15. Apple believed that what the music player category needed most was Simplicity, and whichever company delivered it would soon be “running this planet.”
    16. One can’t have a deep feeling for Simplicity without being able to appreciate human values and understand what drives human behavior.
    17. What’s made Apple’s messaging successful is that it doesn’t really try to be anything. It simply acts like itself—which is one of Simplicity’s guiding lights. It’s more believable, it’s more authentic, it’s more simple.
    18. Strong customer loyalty translates to repeat sales and creates evangelists who recruit friends, family, and colleagues. Loyalty like this feeds on itself, receiving a new jolt with each successive product introduction.
    19. Lawyers play a big role in the marketing business. They come in handy when a company gets sued for a few billion dollars.
    20.  Sometimes it just requires a special strength to fight your way toward a goal when the naysayers are convinced you’re heading down a path of doom.
    21. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.
    22. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
    23. When there’s a healthy balance in the brand bank, customers are more willing to ride out the tough times. With a low balance, they might be more tempted to cut and run.