The Strength of Simplicity

I finished reading an insightful book the other day titled Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall and it reminded me of the strength of simplicity. Segall is the one responsible for the “i” in iMac, etc. and as a member of Apple’s creative team he saw firsthand how simplicity made Apple the success it is today. According to Segall, simplicity is the “core” value at Apple and its leader Steve Jobs wielded the Simple Stick whenever things threatened to get complicated.

It was Henry David Thoreau who famously admonished: “Simplify. Simplify.” But Steve Jobs stated even more succinctly: “Simplify.” Segall says that Jobs insisted on the iPhone having only one button since one is the simplest number. He resisted creating three buttons for the functions people use the most: Internet, phone and iPod and made them front row icons on the iPhone’s home page instead. Consequently, even the silhouette of an iPhone distinguishes it from its competitors.

Before Apple’s iPhone, Segall writes, “People lived with their phones, but they didn’t love them.” But Apple changed all that. “It was technology that would make iPhone capable but Simplicity that would make iPhone lovable,” adds Segall. I have had my iPhone for several months and I must admit that I love it. Not simply my only phone, it multitasks daily as my camera, map, compass, radio, computer, watch, calculator, television, camcorder, etc. It is my all-in-one device…and that is the strength of simplicity.