Update: Ken Segall’s Insanely Simple book just landed in the iBookstore for $12.99. Full excerpt after the break.
There are a few interesting stories coming out of Ken Segall’s “Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success,” which is
set for release later this month available now. Perhaps the most intriguing story is the one about Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs and his idea to celebrate the sale of the millionth original iMac shortly after his return to the company. Jobs’ idea was apparently to hold a Willy Wonka style competition –golden ticket and all– allowing a lucky recipient to win a behind-the-scenes trip to Cupertino and a free iMac. He also planned to dress up in the full Willy Wonka outfit to greet the winners, rockin’ a top hat, velvet blazer, and bow tie (via MacRumors):
Steve’s idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.
Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tails.
The idea was apparently cancelled when Apple figured out California state law required the contest to not require a purchase for entry. Apple would have had to open the contest to all, likely squashing Jobs’ idea of handing out the prize to new iMac purchasers.
Last year, CollegeHumor ran its own darker version of Charlie and the Apple factory with Jobs playing the Wonka role:
Full excerpt from Insanely Simple:
To Steve Jobs, Simplicity was a religion. It was also a weapon.Simplicity isn’t just a design principle at Apple—it’s a value that permeates every level of the organization. The obsession with Simplicity is what separates Apple from other technology companies. It’s what helped Apple recover from near death in 1997 to become the most valuable company on Earth in 2011.Thanks to Steve Jobs’s uncompromising ways, you can see Simplicity in everything Apple does: the way it’s structured, the way it innovates, and the way it speaks to its customers.It’s by crushing the forces of Complexity that the company remains on its stellar trajectory.As ad agency creative director, Ken Segall played a key role in Apple’s resurrection, helping to create such critical marketing campaigns as Think different. By naming the iMac, he also laid the foundation for naming waves of i-products to come.Segall has a unique perspective, given his years of experience creating campaigns for other iconic tech companies, including IBM, Intel, and Dell. It was the stark contrast of Apple’s ways that made Segall appreciate the power of Simplicity—and inspired him to help others benefit from it.In Insanely Simple, you’ll be a fly on the wall inside a conference room with Steve Jobs, and on the receiving end of his midnight phone calls. You’ll understand how his obsession with Simplicity helped Apple perform better and faster, sometimes saving millions in the process. You’ll also learn, for example, how to:• Think Minimal: Distilling choices to a minimum brings clarity to a company and its customers—as Jobs proved when he replaced over twenty product models with a lineup of four.• Think Small: Swearing allegiance to the concept of “small groups of smart people” raises both morale and productivity.• Think Motion: Keeping project teams in constant motion focuses creative thinking on well-defined…
CultofMac published another interesting excerpt of “Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success” earlier this week on the Apple puck Mouse and Jobs’ “Brand Bank” philosophy.
Interestingly, Jobs again reportedly donned a top hat for his whistle stop tour of the publishing agencies in New York while trying to sign them up for the original iPad.