Ken worked closely with Steve Jobs at Apple for 12 years as a Creative Director, sharing his obsession for simplifying products, interfaces and branding – as he demonstrates in his book, Insanely Simple. The man who gave us the ‘i’ in iPad, iPod, iPhone and iMac contrasts his approach with the complex product lines offered by many large companies. He also argues for simplicity in guiding principles, strategy, services and problem solving – but underlines that it takes a big effort.
Ken Segall worked closely with Steve Jobs for 12 years as ad agency creative director for Apple. For the two men, simplicity became akin to a religion - simplifying products, interfaces, advertising, brand. Few people have as sharp an insight into one of the world’s biggest brands, a brand he helped form, as Ken.
An advertising man by trade, Ken worked as a global creative director at Dell, IBM, Intel, and BMW before working with Apple just after Steve Job’s second spell in charge of the company. For Apple, Ken created the Think Differently ad campaign which re-launched the brand in the 1990s, and also came up with the ‘i’, first attached to the iMac, but then later the tag for all of Apple’s products.
Ken contrasts Apple’s obsession with simplicity in all areas with the complex, multifarious product lines of many large companies. He examines the power of questioning every decision and asking why each aspect of a product or advert exists. Does a customer really need dozens of slightly different products? Do lines and lines of detail really inform or just confuse consumers?
With wit and clarity, Ken recounts his life with Apple and Steve Jobs, and poses the challenge to think simply in all aspects of business. Ken is a regular voice in the media on the Apple business and creativity, and is the author of Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success.
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Ken’s understated delivery and wry smile might be what you'd expect from a man associated with the coolness of Apple. But it isn't a shallow speech about shiny electronic products; what his stories reveal about simplicity of both design and service goes to the core of how all businesses should operate. It’s magical to watch heads nod and confidence spread throughout the room. JLA Agent Oliver Shermer
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Conference Speaker Ken Segall Interview