Posts Tagged Simplicity

Designed by Apple.

An inspiring and simple corporate ethos:  Focus everything on designing things people will truly love.

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Tim Cook: The Apple doctrine.

Apple COO Tim Cook, quoted during the Q3 2008 results call, when asked if Apple would be OK without Steve Jobs:

“Ben, let me add something to that and backup just a bit. There is extraordinary breadth and depth and tenure among the Apple executive team, and they lead 35,000 employees that I would call wicked smart – and that’s in all areas of the company from engineering to marketing to operations and sales and all the rest. And the values of our company are extremely well entrenched.

We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.

And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well. And I would just reiterate a point Peter made in his opening comments that I strongly believe that Apple is doing the best work in its history.”

This explains so much, on so many levels.

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If Microsoft designed the iPod.

Stick to the point in communication.

When briefing any piece of good communication, it is critical that you understand exactly what you need to say to sell your product to consumers – and then prioritize these points.  Make sure you never compromise the critical with the less important.

Apple are the masters at this as far as I am concerned.  I regularly use the following video in workshops with young marketeers when trying to demonstrate the point on the importance of simplicity, priority in messaging and NOT trying to do everything with everything.

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The PurplePrinciples.

A collection of guiding management principles I wish I had understood before having to learn them the hard way:

Set your destination.

Define the goal, paint the picture of success, first.  An action without this is directionless.

Know your objective.

What exactly is it you are trying to achieve?  Questions are usually easy to solve when you know what the answer needs to be.

Make the hard choices.

Strategy is about choice.  You cannot do everything well, so what do you want to focus on?

Move the needle.

An idea without action is meaningless.  An action with no results is a failed investment.  Make sure the things you do create value.

Be Better.

Understand those you want to love your product / idea.  Then create something they would love, by ensuring that it is BETTER than anything else they could find.  Dont be competitive, be BETTER than everyone else.

Keep it simple.

Things are generally complicated, but complexity breeds misunderstanding and people avoid it.  Making things very simple is not easy, but everybody gets it.

Borrow it.

Invent where absolutely required.  But stealing what works and then doing it faster and better is always much easier.

Don’t be insane.

The definition of insanity is to do the exact same thing over and over again, yet each time expecting different results.  Clear the table of what is not working.  Don’t be crazy.

No weak links.

Team members who aren’t pulling their weight, or are counter-productive, need to go for the sake of the greater good.  Even if they are the smartest and brightest.  Its uncomfortable, but essential.

Reward.

Celebrate when you move the needle.  Note others achievements aloud.  Make sure that you mark the occasions where hard work has delivered.

Listen.

Two ears, one mouth.  Understanding what someone actually means is not easy.  Plus, people will like you more.

Finish what you start.
When you start something, write it down and scratch it out once done.  Don’t leave too many things undone.  It creates anxiety, which creates stasis, which stresses you and those that work with you.

Build, don’t destroy.

It’s very simple to spot imperfections in others ideas, and pointing these out rarely has any productive value or result.  Help build on others ideas instead.

Make wonderful things.

Don’t ever leave yourself in a position where you are trying to put makeup on a pig.  Make your products wonderful, and they will be loved and sell themselves.

Be Remarkable.

Doing something that people will notice, and might matter enough to share, is always a goal unto itself.

Be positive.

Negative thinking breeds laziness and inaction.  Positivity is productive and breeds excitement.  Both can spread through an organization like a virus.  Pick one.

Dream.

What would you love to do?  Do that.

Do what you say you will do.

Don’t set precedent as someone who might not deliver by leaving things undone.  You want to be the person whom others can count on to make things happen.

Some people will not to like you.

You won’t be effective unless some people don’t like you.  Trying to please everyone is a certain way to take the power out of any initiative.

Make things easy, useful and fun.

Simple, relevant and engaging.  Be it a product, a project ,an ad or an experience, meeting these three standards will make sure you always connect.

Execute.

The very best idea, without execution, is the worst kind of idea.

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