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Has Apple Lost Steve Jobs’ Vision of Simplicity? | Ken Segall

Has Apple Lost Steve Jobs’ Vision of Simplicity? | Ken Segall

How does one define simplicity? Very good question. To me it is just a distilled thought; something
that registers quickly; doesn’t require a lot of explanations; seems intuitively obvious
that kind of a thing. And I think a lot of businesses out of there
tend to put things in terms that require more thought study or whatever and I think what
made Steve Jobs such a genius was that he had this belief in the power of simplicity
and he wanted to ensure that his products embodied that and the way the company communicated
with people embodied that. So I think simplicity is this this thing,
it’s a concept really that gets applied to so many different things. It’s not just oh look it’s a simple product,
it’s the whole structure of the organization, the belief system, all that stuff is based
on this idea that human beings have a built in desire for simpler things, we just don’t
like to labor over complex issues. And when someone has something to share with
us, whether it’s a product, it’s service or whatever that the people who really understand
that simplicity is a very powerful thing, those are the people who establish an emotional
connection with their customers, which is something that Apple is very, very good at
doing. I do think that simplicity is one of the hardest
things you can do. And it is deceptive in that way because it
looks simple. The way I like to put it is that there is
no such thing as simplicity, there is only the perception of simplicity, that every simple
thing we see in this world, whether it’s an iPhone, obviously years worth of research
goes into making the little things that make an iPhone, but you can look at a simple website
and we all know, we who create such things know that this beautifully simple site that
you’ve built could have been a result of weeks or months of anguished debate and differences
of opinion and arguments and whatever and you end up with something that’s simple. So what’s really important is the perception
of simplicity. If someone walks away from the experience
and feels that it was simple, that’s mission accomplished. But I think getting there is really, really
hard. It requires all that commitment and energy. It doesn’t come easily I guess that’s the
point, but when you do get there it becomes very worth it. In fact there’s a great Steve Jobs quote,
it’s always about Steve Jobs is in it? He said “It takes a lot of hard work to make
something simple but it’s worth it in the end because once you get there you can move
the mountains.” And I think those are great words to live
by. H e understood that that was the challenge
for Apple was to take really cool products and really cool capabilities and put them
in a form that people could so easily relate to and take advantage of without thick manuals
and that kind of thing. So that’s the real work is making great things
simple. The big question is how do you do it? Where does simplicity come from? And that’s a question I hear all the time. I have some humble suggestions on that topic. I think because simple is such a simple thing
it comes along with some simple advice. And I think that one of the most important
things you can do is simply step back and look at what you’re doing through the eyes
of the customer. I believe that that was Steve Jobs’ amazing
strength that he looked at this experience that Apple was creating and he looked at it
with a super critical eye what would he think as a customer. I think that a lot of company leaders don’t
do that as well as Steve. And I think you can criticize your own products
and services and your website and all that stuff, you can excuse your own lapses by saying
yeah well we did the best we could because we had these certain issues and that’s how
he dealt with it. But that’s the difference between a regular
person and a Steve Jobs kind of a person. Steve was on I’m sorry no compromises allowed
and if you suggest to me that we’re going to compromise your future here is probably
not very good. He believed that the user experience was all
important. So I always tell people the best place to
start for me is to just be the customer and look at every part of the customer experience
from the very first ad they might see to the website to what the retail experience is like
and how hard it is to order, when you get product what does it feel like to open it
up and start experiencing it and then, of course, the design of the product, the interface,
when you need help how easy is it to get support, the whole bit. So you create this experience that is simple
for people and fails to confuse them in a very good way. So you look at all the choices some people
provide to their customers with all the best intentions. You might go to a website and there are 20
different products to choose from, whereas a company that really believes in simplicity
might say here are three and we thought it all out. There are three kinds of people here. There’s the small, medium and large or whatever
it is that make it easy for you to make a decision rather than force you to think too
hard and then wonder after you made the purchase whether you might of made a big mistake, that
kind of a thing. So I think Apple, again, has been very good
at doing that kind of a thing so it’s customers go away feeling pretty confident that they
got the right thing and they enjoy the experience. But all along the way all these decisions
that must be made need to be looked at with a kind of brutal bit of self-analysis that
is the experience so good that you would actually tell your friends about it and say you got
to look at this thing with me; I love this thing and you’re going to like it too? Or is it just kind of like okay I buy it and
I’m not sure if I would tell anyone about it but it worked for me, that kind of a thing. And I think in the world of Steve Jobs it
was always about make the experience like amazingly good and too many people are willing
to compromise that away. Simplicity requires that brutal assessment
of what is really, really good versus what’s good enough and what’s good enough isn’t good
enough, it’s got to be really, really good. Okay so you’re Mr. simplicity, what about
your personal life? How simple is that? And the answer is not at all really and I’m
working on it. But I think simplicity is something that works
in business and it should work in your personal life as well. And it’s a gratifying way to live and work
I think. There’s something very satisfying about having
this kind of space in your life and the order and the lack of clutter and the firm direction. But life is complicated and it’s because life
is complicated that simplicity stands out so we got to take the good with the bad. We live in this complicated world but that
actually gives us an opportunity to be more noticed by being simple. So whether it’s business or personal, simplicity
has that kind of power.

100 thoughts on “Has Apple Lost Steve Jobs’ Vision of Simplicity? | Ken Segall

  1. Separate headphones that require charging in another box you have to carry around and, presumably do not work with other, non Apple, products? Not complicated? Not inconvenient? Easy to loose? SIMPLE??

  2. This guy isn't answering the question. He just goes on and on praising steve job's and his vision for simplicity, and explaining how simplicity is great. But what about modern day Apple, is it still selling 'simplicity'? Address the question, please…

  3. Innovation might have moved a bit quicker if jobs were alive. This rollout of micro-improvements has become the business model norm and it just falls short in comparison to what Apple once represented.

  4. Apple stopped selling real simplicity long ago. It started with the death of OS9 & the embrace of the piece of unix garbage that was OSX. Once they put a bullet in the head of PPC & switched to Intel, simplicity was done

  5. iPhone simple? Hahaha good joke, seriously I had to do a million and one things to put music and movies onto the iPhone, I recently got my 2nd Android after using an iPhone for the last couple of years and it took me like 3 minutes to put music and movies on it

  6. This vid is almost as boring as Apple products. I think I'm going to unsubscribe from this channel, especially when people like Deepak Chopra, and Larry Summers appear on it.

  7. It's not simplicity it's locking things down and removing possibilities.
    Life is not simple, people are complex, life is complex – thinking any other way is a regression towards infanthood.
    Apple products are okay but are so locked down that you have to buy into the whole Apple stack – it's about marketing genius, not simplicity.

  8. This channel is really going down the deep end. How can I take Big Think seriously, when they have people like Deepak Chopra in the intro as if that's a good thing?

  9. They should hook up Steve Jobs' coffin to a dynamo so everyone can charge their AirPods from the energy generated by his rolling grave.

  10. To each their own. I prefer to continue to understand how the world around me functions; and I live in a complex world. Simplicity can stifle intellectual growth. Lowering the bar generally makes things worse.

    If a consumer can't pick between the options in front of them, maybe they shouldn't be in that market. How everyone can take everything for granted without questioning "How does the little bobble work?" blows my mind. The greatest mystery I will never understand are the people I share this rock with. 🙂

    What Steve Jobs did was hit the market with style and creativity.

    I still have clients who don't know if their phone is backed up to icloud, remember their itunes password, or know how to setup email on their phones. There's still some room for improvement ;D

  11. He could have said that more simply!
    He stumbles all over himself, he rocks his head back and forth and struggles to say what we know he wants to say but he doesn't find the words any more easily than we do.

  12. Yes, it did. And each new product will be more overpriced and bad, until it reaches Apple Newton and Apple Pippin level of bad. And Apple will get to where it rightfully belongs, where it was in 90s – to the gutter. Only this time they won't be able to be saved by Jobs' guidance or Microsotf's money – first one is dead and the second won't make the same mistake again. And after Apple bankrupts, this is where Linux will strike. Most creatives using currently macs won't be able to stand ugliness and limited functionality of Windows. And the Linux has everything MacOS has, only better.

    Steve Jobs was the sole reason the now famous Year Of Linux Desktop was running late. And now that he's gone and with Crapple loosing its focus with each and every product, we shall win. We are Linux. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  13. I personally believe that one thing is simplicity, one is minimalism. Steve jobs was just as calvinistic and medieval as many other north americans. His memento mori – live every day as your last – tells a lot about this. This may be most noticeable to an italian like me as we notoriously believe in the opposite approach: hedonism. Anyway I believe this is why he quite naturally embraced minimalism as that is the most "monastic" approach possible to simplicity. It is also a very sadomasochistic approach (Jobs did not apparently grow up in jewish environment tho so let's not go too far here). He successfully managed to market an old idea as innovative and desirable (someway having hedonism and deprivation unite in a single product) so… chapeau to him! In the microsoft governed computer world that was an alternative approach indeed i suppose.

  14. not well thought out. He is just making things up as he goes on which is cool in normal conversation but this is a Big Think video. Maybe do a little bit of prep work… Just a thought

  15. I ditched apple back with the 4S because of the inability to do what you truly want to do, with your phone. I purchased the phone for quite a bit of money only to be severely limited. I couldn't easily transfer my songs, my photos, etc from computer to computer. I couldn't just use a simple charger that anyone else had, I had to specifically use the "iphone" cables. I couldn't customize the colors or anything in depth with the phone interface itself, I couldn't use my phone as a flash drive and transfer files around, I couldn't expand the storage, etc.

    So I got the Galaxy S4, I was able to use as a storage device, I added more memory, I could customize the phone, I could transfer songs, movies, photos with ease to my other computers, I didn't have to install some program and have it in the background – and on top of it all, it was a easy smooth interface with a lot more features.

    I liked apples simplicity, their very smooth interface (at the time). But when I buy a phone, I want it to be my phone.. I want all access to it.. not be limited in nearly everything I do feeling its just a loaned phone.

    The innovation has come to a crawl because, honestly, what else can you do with a phone? Aside from cosmetic like bending the screen, or making it flexible, etc.

  16. This video is about simplicity, granted, but I don't hear anything about Apple having "lost Steve Jobs' vision of simplicity".

  17. I have never owned an iPhone. It's not launched officially in Pakistan market but what made me crazy about the iPhone and the Mac is the vision and passion of Steve jobs. You can transfer the technology within the company the designers can use the previous designs and make thing better same can the developers do. Steve made the iPhone with passion he made it on a dream which sadly can't be transferred or reused by any one. Once Jobs is gone the passion is gone Apple really needs to find that passion to survive in future.

  18. I have never owned an iPhone. It's not launched officially in Pakistan market but what made me crazy about the iPhone and the Mac is the vision and passion of Steve jobs. You can transfer the technology within the company the designers can use the previous designs and make thing better same can the developers do. Steve made the iPhone with passion he made it on a dream which sadly can't be transferred or reused by any one. Once Jobs is gone the passion is gone Apple really needs to find that passion to survive in future.

  19. the name of this video is "Has Apple Lost Steve Jobs' Vision of Simplicity?" At no point does he actually discuss this. What a waste of time.

  20. too much simplicity = restrictive. a million actions to do a simple task or change a setting. Permanent icons on home, clunky itunes, no drag n drop. No long press for right click. Simple is good but not too simple. No back button, no multitask, i could go on for pages

  21. Very well spoken and well observed by Ken Segall. I encourage the uploader to disable the comment section, given the almost exclusively ignorant, hateful, unhelpful shit written here.

  22. This needs more dislikes. I'm ready to think now. Big or whatever. Something about new and exciting knowledge. Something controversial. Anything but this.

  23. Definition of simplicity: Reduce ambiguity. If you spend 9 minute explaining it and keep beating the bush it's because you dont know what it is

  24. This is a good commentary about simplicity and is really less about Apple. As a former product designer, I can tell you simple is a LOT harder to do than complex, and once you hammer a design down to simple, everybody says it was obvious.. Good design is good design no matter where it comes from – you either "get it" or you don't.

  25. I dont have to even watch the content to know the answer is YES…. I used to think I was an apple fan but now Steve is gone I realise I was a Steve fan and those at apple are just coasting on his legacy with every mediocre choice they make. Which would of been fine 10 years ago but the competition in the phone world especially is just so good now that releasing iterative rather than innovative upgrades just isn't cutting it anymore.

  26. Simplicity is just laziness. If it takes time/effort to learn and figure out the ultra expensive phone I just got, I'm gonna be pissed. I just want to use my damn phone, don't bog me down with bullshit add-ons the intern thought were "disruptive"

  27. It's the perception of simplicity, not simplicity itself. Great speech, I'm very much inspired by Ken Segall's talks and books as I am entering the world of creative advertising.

  28. Very misleading title. This video barely touched on Apple losing its way and focused mainly on Steve Jobs. Title should have been "What Apple can teach us about simplicity"

  29. Longtime user of both mac/pc and I prefer Apple products 9/10 times. However, if the company continues down this path of soldered RAM and non-upgradeable hardware, I'm going to cut ties with them altogether because I refuse to continue dealing with the bullshit. I recently purchased a 27" imac over the 21" solely because the former can have additional RAM installed. I'm ok with paying a premium for mac products because I know I can get a solid 5-10 years out of them; that's no longer possible when you're tied down to factory specs.

  30. "ohp a video mentioning Steve jobs, I better let the world know my insignificant opinion how he wasn't so great and how apple sucks even though I'll never accomplish anything close to it."

  31. If he was alive today, I think he would've moved on to other things besides the iPhone.

    The smartphone technology has peaked, and I doubt that even he could make huge improvements on it.

  32. Yea, I know the problems, after writing software to cover the needs of my customers who had a multitude of different work environments they used this software for. Sorry I can't be more precise, NDA you see. So my and my teammates tried to make customizable user interface that would be simple to use once it has been customized for the particular client's needs and wishes. All of which made the customization process really complex and frustrating. But in the end we managed to get almost there. Almost, because there was too little time and eventually there was only me and this other guy writing the code down. And the other guy was one of those with great ideas, but he was also in the habit of destroying everything and starting over from scratch every now and then. Sometimes when the deadline was only a few weeks ahead (once only a few days, omg)!

  33. so what is the answer to the title of this video? I sure hope didn't just wasted my time hearing this man rambling about what simplicity is and who Steve Job was.

  34. WTF? You couldn´t have shot this interview in a more boring and flat way… Just 2 super similar shots, awful lighting and flat white background… And not a single shot of b-roll!!! BAAAAAD WORK! haahhha

  35. The secret is not caring about the pundits and commenters who want all the impossible features every year when they don't even know what the craft is about

  36. The box that the iPhone comes in has always been extremely non-simple to open. It's very tight and you have to use a lot of pull to get the iPhone out.

  37. In software design focus is often on simplicity. I believe that Meaning is more fundamental, and simplicity is just one manifestation of it.

  38. Hey Apple, you have lost your amazingness. You have over simplified and under developed to the point where you make your users feel like morons, instead of making them feel smart. Stop taking ports away like the headphone jack. Innovate and simplify sure, but don't treat us like garbage, because that is where a lot of companies fall. Specific chargers and special this and special that doesn't make me feel like you appreciate my business, it makes me feel like you want to nickle and dime me to death. You have failed in this mission and Steve Jobs would not be happy.

  39. Yeah it's real simple needing a bran new charger for every new fucking device you get. Simple in the fact that it shows you Apple only cares about money now.

  40. The title of this video is completely misleading. No answer about the question if Apple is losing the simplicity vision, just a lot of bla bla around how good simplicity is. Btw, yes, Apple has lost his touch, and made the jump of the shark, and competes with too many decide models at a time.

  41. Simplicity, Apple's non universal ecosystem. Copy files using iTunes, instead of copy-paste, yea, simplicity.
    The freedom not to be able to delete shortcut icons on your home screen, simplicity.

  42. Using ios is a lot more complicated that android. To download facebook app, for example, you need an apple id, register your credit card and gicve your phone number and address. In android you just download it without all that bullshit

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