Apple creative director Ken Segall says he’s got a new book coming out about Steve Jobs and Apple. It’s called Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success.
Before you call this a rip off of the best-seller out now, let’s backtrack.
Do you know the difference between an autobiography and a memoir? An autobiography is like Walter Isaacson’s book authorized biography of Steve Jobs — all the details, start to finish.
A memoir is thematic. For instance, and this is disclosure, I cowrote Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s book, iWOZ. That was a memoir — it told his story so far as it related to the theme of the book, which also served as its subhead.
It was called iWOZ: How I invented the personal computer and had fun doing it — for exactly this reason.
The main point in Wozniak’s message is simplicity.
In Apple creative director’s Ken Segall’s upcoming book on Steve Jobs, Apple’s aesthetic of simplicity (of design, thinking, argument, corporate policies) is the theme. It’s a Jobs memoir focusing on that one theme — simplicity.
Sounds interesting. The book is due out in April, Segall says in a blog post:
Something tells me you won’t be surprised when I tell you it’s about Steve Jobs and Apple. But this book is different. Really.
That’s because (a) I had a unique vantage point to some pivotal events in Apple history, and (b) this book focuses on one thing alone — the core value that has driven Apple since the beginning.
Insanely Simple is about Apple’s obsession with Simplicity.
You can see Simplicity in everything Apple does: the way it organizes, innovates and communicates. In fact, one could argue that it was Steve’s unrelenting passion for Simplicity that helped Apple rise from near-death in 1997 to become the most valuable company on Earth in 2011.
My observations come from over 12 years of experience as Steve’s agency creative director, from NeXT to Apple. Also relevant to my story are the years I spent on the agency team during John Sculley’s rule at Apple. And then I had some interesting (and often excruciating) experiences in the worlds of Dell, Intel and IBM — which made me even more conscious of what sets Apple apart.
To Steve Jobs, Simplicity was a religion. But it was also a weapon — one that he used to humble competitors once thought to be invincible.