Apple’s success? Simplicity!
Steve Jobs’ appreciation for his boyhood house sparked his curiosity in design. It was in one of the several working-class communities created between San Francisco and San Jose by builders who churned out affordable modernist tract houses for the postwar suburban movement in the 1950s. Developers like Joseph Eichler and his imitators developed houses with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, open floor plans, exposed post-and-beam construction, concrete slab flooring, and lots of sliding glass doors, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept of simple modern dwellings for the American “everyman.”
1997 was the year. Steve had just returned to Apple after an 11-year exile, and the company was on the verge of going bankrupt. They designed a brand campaign to establish the groundwork for what was to come, with the world excited to see what Steve would do.
Steve had an “out of the box” vision for a marketing firm. He despised advertising that sounded like advertising and demanded something genuine and true to Apple’s soul. “Hold a different view,” was the result. Those two sentences summed up the company’s whole history, dating back to its humble beginnings in Steve Jobs’ family garage.
The commercials consist of a simple image of a person who has made a positive difference in the world, coupled by the phrase “Think different”. And, of course, the Apple logo. It was stark and straightforward, and it served as a turning point for the resurrected Apple.
The first computer system to follow this approach after six months of commercials would also have to be proof that the term wasn’t just hype. They needed a name for this machine, and Steve had one in mind already: MacMan. That would be it, he added, unless we could come up with something better. This was an ominous possibility. They were dead set on rescuing the world from MacMan.
The term iMac came to his mind right away. That’s because the machine’s notion was “the simple route to the internet” at a time when non-techies didn’t know how to get there. It was straightforward logic: internet + Macintosh equaled iMac.
Under Jobs, Apple products was becoming known for their distinctive style, which was clean, friendly, and joyful. Jobs’ collaborations with Hartmut Esslinger in the 1980s and subsequently with Jony Ive beginning in 1997 established an engineering and design style that set Apple apart from other technological businesses and ultimately helped it become the most valuable corporation on the planet. Its guiding premise was simplicity—not only the shallow simplicity that comes from a product’s uncluttered look, feel, and surface, but the profound simplicity that comes from understanding the essence of each object, as well as the complexity of its engineering and function, “It takes a lot of hard work,” jobs said. to make anything basic, to genuinely recognize the underlying issues, and to devise elegant solutions” In 1977, the headline of Apple’s first marketing brochure stated: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Steve liked how the name looked on the machine because of his minimalist design sensibility. It was simple and classy, and it didn’t detract from the first iMac’s startlingly distinctive shape and color. Even though no one could have seen what lied ahead for that little character, he understood that the i-format provided a clear naming foundation for future items. It certainly did a lot of work for a single letter.
In my opinion, I’m not concerned that Apple has “lost its path.” The company’s DNA is based on simplicity. It’s something that both Tim Cook and Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, talk about a lot.
Simply put, today’s Apple faces hurdles that Jobs’ Apple did not. Its target audience has grown and diversified. It must extend its product line as a result, or clients would be lost to competitors. (Just as it did for a few of years because it didn’t have a large-screen iPhone.)
Apple now needs a “Simplicity leader” as the company expands. It became the most valuable company on the planet by creating products that people adore. When that is the goal, simplicity is one area where no compromises can be made.