November 29, 2012 by Leave a Comment
While at the AFP conference last month, I had the pleasure of hearing Ken Segall speak at a breakfast event sponsored by USDataworks. Ken worked closely with Steve Jobs as advertising agency creative director for NeXT and Apple. His experience inspired him to write Insanely Simple, published earlier this year by Penguin Books Ltd. Two events in the past week caused me to recall the wisdom of Apple’s obsession for simplicity. The first was the announcement that iOS again regained the #1 U.S. market share position over Android in the most recent quarter. This is an astonishing (and repeated) achievement in my opinion given the relentless competition in the smartphone market. After all, it is Apple versus the world. Equally impressive was the reported 40% of iPhone sales going to new users. The other event was prompted by the recent demise of my #2 son’s laptop. Such devices are a necessity for college students. I was immediately put in-charge of shopping for a new laptop we would present for his upcoming birthday (I’m assuming he doesn’t read my blogs). Since he is a Windows user, a MacBook was out of the question. After several evenings of reading and seeking advice, I narrowed down the search to HP – right before “Black Friday”. Perfect! My task was nearly over – or so I thought. HP offers 8 operating system choices, 7 screen sizes, 7 processor choices, 3 memory configuration options and 7 storage options across its 6 separate laptop product lines. Really? Apple, in sharp contrast offers two models (MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) with a handful of options each. Apple has its detractors, and its maniacal devotion to simplicity isn’t the only factor contributing to its success. But Successful it is. One look at its share price over the past few years ought to convince. What about your product line? Can your customers and prospects quickly distil the essence of your products and services unmistakably? Or, have you convinced yourselves, like HP apparently, that you provide inherently complex solutions that must be communicated as such? Read the book. It’s available for $15.26 in hardcover at Amazon.