Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Strength of Simplicity

I finished reading an insightful book the other day titled Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall and it reminded me of the strength of simplicity. Segall is the one responsible for the “i” in iMac, etc. and as a member of Apple’s creative team he saw firsthand how simplicity made Apple the success it is today. According to Segall, simplicity is the “core” value at Apple and its leader Steve Jobs wielded the Simple Stick whenever things threatened to get complicated.

It was Henry David Thoreau who famously admonished: “Simplify. Simplify.” But Steve Jobs stated even more succinctly: “Simplify.” Segall says that Jobs insisted on the iPhone having only one button since one is the simplest number. He resisted creating three buttons for the functions people use the most: Internet, phone and iPod and made them front row icons on the iPhone’s home page instead. Consequently, even the silhouette of an iPhone distinguishes it from its competitors.

Before Apple’s iPhone, Segall writes, “People lived with their phones, but they didn’t love them.” But Apple changed all that. “It was technology that would make iPhone capable but Simplicity that would make iPhone lovable,” adds Segall. I have had my iPhone for several months and I must admit that I love it. Not simply my only phone, it multitasks daily as my camera, map, compass, radio, computer, watch, calculator, television, camcorder, etc. It is my all-in-one device…and that is the strength of simplicity.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Celebration of Love

Earlier this month my lovely wife, Linda, and I celebrated our silver anniversary by visiting Paris for the day. Paris, Tennessee, that is! And as the attached photo attests, we even got our obligatory photo with the scaled replica of the Eiffel Tower. While we had planned to visit THE Paris in France, we realized that with our upcoming move, perhaps it made sense to postpone those plans. So a couple of weeks before our anniversary we hatched our backup plan.

Hungry for irony, we started our day by eating breakfast at the nearby Henpeck Village Market, where the owner paid for our meal upon hearing it was our anniversary. After a scenic road trip, we browsed the quaint shops of downtown Paris and enjoyed ice cream at Café a la Mode before heading homeward. And for supper we indulged our appetite for more irony by eating at one of our favorite places, the Loveless Café.

As we celebrated 25 years of wedded bliss, we reminded each other of special times through the years and how, despite the challenges of married life, we managed to age rather gracefully by the grace of God. Of course, not having kids or pets may have helped with that! And after all is said and done, we owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the One at the center of our lives and the ultimate celebration of love.