top of page
  • Writer's pictureKajol Mathur

Minimalism : Apple's success mantra?

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Apple logo in grey minimalistic style

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." - Steve Jobs.

When I choose this legendary brand to be the first case study for my Blog, little did I know that this minimalistic Tech giant, that believes in "less is more", had just "more and more" up its sleeves. I was overwhelmed with every single aspect of their existence. Even in the year 2023, when we have with us AI tools, that can cut through the noice and deliver the content we desire right into our lap, even now it seemed almost like an impossible task to be able to put down in words what this Brand has done for the world & how it has done it and continues to do! If I have to give context, its like the saree of draupadi that unfolded endlessly!

For those unable to decode the context, The Draupadi saree incident is a famous episode from the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata. According to the story, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, was lost in a game of dice to the Kauravas, their arch-rivals. The Kauravas then attempted to disrobe her in front of the entire court. Draupadi prayed to Lord Krishna for help and miraculously, her saree kept growing longer and longer, preventing the Kauravas from stripping her.

The more I unravel, the more there is to unravel. The more I try to make a structure out of my research, the more I realize I am attempting to structure water. So I am going to "go with the flow" here. So this article is solely attributed to what according to me, is the soul of "Apple", its design.

47 years ago, a man decided that he would make the most minimalistic, simple designs to solve the most complex areas of life. And the world could never go back. In a book called "Insanely Simple. The Obsession that derives Apple's success", which was written by Ken Segall, a former creative director at an advertising agency, who worked closely with Steve Jobs and the team at Apple & NeXT for many years, helping to create some of the company's most iconic advertising campaigns, such as the "Think Different" campaign.

Ken Segall writes, "The Simple Stick symbolizes a core value within Apple. Sometimes it’s held up as inspiration; other times it’s wielded like a caveman’s club. In all cases, it’s a reminder of what sets Apple apart from other technology companies and what makes Apple stand out in a complicated world: a deep, almost religious belief in the power of Simplicity. Every one of Apple’s revolutions was born of the company’s devotion to Simplicity. Simplicity not only enables Apple to revolutionize—it enables Apple to revolutionize repeatedly. As the world changes, as technology changes, as the company itself adapts to change, the religion of Simplicity is the one constant. It’s the set of values that allows Apple to turn technology into devices that are just too hard to resist."

apple products, Apple Watch, iPhone, Mac

Talking about 'hard to resist', I can recall my own personal experience with Apple. I was so mesmerized with iPhones back in 2015 that I would literally clear all my exams just because the promise of my father was to allow me a set of iPhone if I succeeded. I had my eyes set on iPhone 5 (which by the way is the greatest iPhone of all times) and I would just not rest till I had one. And I did, of course. The sleek grey body, one circular button in the entire screen, the user interface everything made it 'hard to resist'.

What we don't realise is 'hard to resist' does not come easy or naturally to anything or anyone. Not even models. We humans are complex creatures with a mind of our own and are naturally attracted to complexity. So simplification is actually swimming opposite the curent of the water. "Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius." - George Sand.

And Steve jobs wasn't shy of beginning from the end. Because he really believed in the power of simplicity, he didnt just use it for his products, he submerged the entire Company in it. As Ken Segall writes, "There’s nothing subtle about Apple’s love affair with Simplicity. It’s everywhere you look. It’s in the company’s products, its ads, its internal organization, its stores, and its customer relationships. Inside Apple, Simplicity is a goal, a work style, and a measuring stick."

Today we see the trend of 'Minimalism' everywhere. From fashion designs to way of living as more and more realise the true power of simplicity. He has not just inspired one Industry but a way of thinking and that's what lives on and that's what's so powerful about Steve Jobs. He taught us 'different' need not be 'complex', 'simple' need not be 'dull' because if you see the larger picture of life, you would realise, all innovations, all technology exists for just one and one purpose only, "to make things simpler for the human kind".

29 views1 comment

1 Comment

saurav sarkar
saurav sarkar
Apr 13, 2023

Eve’s Apple – when the world began; Newton’s Apple in 1687; Steve Job’s Apple in 1976, and the world changed.

bottom of page