Episode #009: Ken Segall, Author of Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success

Ken Segall Head ShotEven if you don’t consider yourself a fan of all things Apple, it’s impossible to deny that the company has improved virtually every category they’ve chosen to enter.

From products and packaging, to marketing and advertising, the hits seem to far outweigh the misses. But what is it about Apple that has them firing on all cylinders more often that not?

Click to Listen


When Ken Segall, author of the book Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, asked himself that question, he found a common thread in all the data, feedback and meeting notes.

In a word, it’s all about Simplicity.

When everyone else wants to include every feature but the kitchen sink, Apple says “Let’s wait on that.” When everyone else wants to offer a plethora of model choices, Apple counters with, “How about just a couple?”

It’s this “simplicity as religion” that serves as the common thread among all the successes.

In today’s conversation with Ken, we’ll learn about:

  • How Apple defines Simplicity
  • Why more companies don’t just do what Apple does
  • Why Steve Jobs insisted on keeping meeting groups small
  • The dangers of trying to please everyone
  • How being jettisoned from Apple was the best thing that could ever happen to Steve
  • Why most “nos” should be challenged with a dose good ol’ common sense

Resources Discussed

Download Ken’s book for FREE with a free 30-day trial of audible. Just go to http://readtoleadpodcast.com/audible.

Upcoming Projects

Ken is currently working on his next book. Whereas his current book was about identifying all the elements of Apple’s passion for Simplicity, Ken’s upcoming book will break down how to successfully implement Simplicity within a company’s culture and how to ward off the complexity temptation.

Comment and Share

Be sure to leave your comments and ask any questions by simply scrolling down to the bottom of this page.  We would love to hear from you and welcome your feedback.

Please consider rating the podcast with 5 stars and leaving a one- or two-sentence review in iTunes.  This helps tremendously in bringing the podcast to the attention of others. I am mentioning the names of all who rate the podcast with 5 stars in future episodes.

We encourage you to join the Read to Lead Nation on Facebook.  It’s a community of like-minded leaders and leader-to-be, as well as fans of the Read to Lead Podcast.

You can tell your friends on Twitter about your love of reading and our new podcast by simply clicking this link and sharing the tweet you’ll find at the other end.

And, by all means, if you know someone you think would benefit, please spread the word by using the share buttons below and up top.

Finally, thanks for listening and, remember, “Leaders read and readers lead.”


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jeff/Ken, really enjoyed this. Such an amazing perspective into Apple.

    • Thanks for the comment Jim. I really enjoyed chatting with Ken and learned a lot. Approaching things in a complex way is actually easier than approaching them Simplistically. It’s the reason more companies don’t do it.

      Thanks for listening. I hope I can continue to bring you useful and informative conversations.