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Think Simple: How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity

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Simplicity is arguably the most potent weapon in business–attracting customers, motivating employees, helping outthink competitors, and creating new efficiencies. Yet it is rarely as simple as it looks.

Ken Segall’s first book, Insanely Simple, was based on observations gained from his twelve years as the creative director at Steve Job’s advertising agency, first with NeXT and then with Apple. He saw firsthand that Jobs looked at everything through the lens of simplicity. This obsession with simplicity was visible not just in Apple’s products; you could see it in the way the company organized, innovated, advertised, sold at retail, and provided customer service.

In practice, simplicity was Jobs’ most powerful business weapon. It helped Apple distinguish its products and create entirely new product categories, and it put distance between Apple and its competitors. But while Apple is a terrific example of a company that has been propelled by the power of simplicity, it is hardly alone.

Segall set out to find other companies that were travelling this path. He wanted to learn more about the thinking of their leaders. He felt that if he could chronicle the experiences of those who have successfully simplified, it would be an invaluable guide for everyone who would do the same.

Many of the “heroes of simplicity” profiled in this book are probably not on your list of usual suspects. Segall had conversations with more than forty men and women from a wide range of industries, in companies big and small, established and up-and-coming, famous and under the radar.

Each leader has a fascination point of view about how simplicity has helped improve his or her company and set it apart from competitors. Each is unique, yet, as you’ll find, many display interesting similarities.

From Jerry Greenfield, you’ll hear how Ben & Jerry’s grew from local to global without losing its focus and simple values. From the CEO of one of Australia's biggest banks, you'll hear how simplicity is attracting new customers. From former Apple senior vice president Ron Johnson, you'll hear how a simple idea aligned the team creating the worldwide network of Apple stores.

You'll discover how simplicity influences the CEOs of The Container Store and Whole Foods. You'll get insights on simplification from the worlds of fashion, automobiles, entertainment, and technology. You'll even get inside the blue heads of Blue Man Group, who developed a business strategy designed to defeat complexity before it could take root.

In a complicated world, no principle is more important for business than simplicity. In this insightful and often surprising book, you will learn how to harness its power to build lasting, profitable organizations.

Product Details

Author: Ken Segall

Hardcover: 242 pages

Publisher: Portfolio Penguin

ISBN: 978-1591847502


“Steve Jobs’ favorite communicator has created a must-read manual for anyone interested in simplifying their way to success. Ken Segall gathers the best advice from industries and leaders around the globe and combines it with his own experience on a rocket ride with Apple from life support to world domination.” – Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman (retired), Ogilvy & Mather

"How do you appeal to customers when the competition can do virtually the same job? Having the right answer to this question is a matter of brand life or death. Fortunately for us, Segall's practical book gives us exactly the insights we need to succeed in a complicated world." – Nir Eyal, author of Hooked

"Think Simple is, well simply stunning! Almost every company makes almost everything unnecessarily complicated and complex and, eventually, bad stuffs happens. Segall shows you–step by step–how to avoid having this happen to you and your business. An absolutely brilliant book. I endorse every word." – Jason Jennings, author of The Reinventors; Think BIG, Act Small; and The High-Speed Company