‘What was Steve Jobs’ most annoying trait?’ & other questions for Ken Segall. CEO Tales, London 31st May.

May 18th, 2012 — Mark Littlewood

We’re delighted to be hosting Ken Segall, Apple’s ex Creative Head and Marketing Director at our CEO Tales held at Imperial College London, 6-9.00pm on 31st May. We asked everyone that registered what question they would like to ask Ken. With over 200 people registered now, we thought it was time to have a look at some of the questions and we thought we would share them. While, ”What was Steve Jobs’ most annoying trait?’ amused us, we’re not sure it will make the cut.

Ken has already answered one recurring question, ‘Can Apple be as successful without Steve Jobs leading the way?in this guest blog post. If you want to ask anything else, feel free to chip in. As we now have a slightly bigger, upgraded, venue we still have some space so it is not too late to register.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are the other questions people would want to ask Ken…

If you could ask Ken Segall one question, what would it be?

  • Which emerging nations does he feel has the levels of entrepreneurial verve that could match the creativity of Silicon Valley?
  • Anti-patterns: Why did Sony go wrong when Apple went right?
  • Who will win – the closed operating system of apple or the open architecture platform such as Microsoft?
  • Is the marketing approach different for small, growing companies than for large corporations? Would “think different” have been the right approach without the global brand awareness already?
  • How do you makes others see the value of simplicity?
  • Do you think Apple has peaked?
  • What are the disruptive changes that social networks bring to marketing?
  • What’s the one piece of advice he’d give to Microsoft, Google, Oracle.
  • Is Apple’s Insanely Simple approach going to limit their success in selling to businesses
  • How was it working for Steve?
  • What would you spend most of your time doing on a day to day basis?
  • What would you spend most of your time doing on a day to day basis?
  • Was think different the first campaign idea or did you have many others before
  • Was think different the first campaign idea or did you have many others before
  • IBM or Apple? Which is the more innovative in their business models?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What other companies are insanely simple?
  • How much of it all was Jobs and how much was the team? What’s the right mix of interference of those holding the vision vs those implementing it?
  • How much of it all was Jobs and how much was the team? What’s the right mix of interference of those holding the vision vs those implementing it?
  • Think of it to ask him on the night
  • Think of it on the night
  • How did you make it so simple!
  • What other design do you admire in the online market?
  • when will simple also mean cheap ?
  • when will battery technology develop sigificantly ?
  • Can Apple be as successful without Steve Jobs’ single minded focus?
  • ?
  • Would Apple have been so successful with ‘just’ great products and ‘average’ marketing?
  • What does the Apple TV look like?
  • Why do digital products seem increasingly complex?
  • Where do you get your design inspirations from?
  • what were the practical methods Apple used to innovate (meetings, focus groups?)
  • How do you do?
  • What is the thing most companies are missing?
  • Could Apple have achieved the same success if they had chosen a different obsession?
  • Can’t think of a good enough one at the moment sorry!
  • Apple regularly builds simple and elegant products on initial release but then adds features and complexity over time. Does this result in an improvement or dilution of the originally executed idea
  • What would the single bit of advice be he would give to companies aspiring to follow in Apple’s design and innovation footsteps
  • How (if at all) would he recommend to engage customers during a product’s design phase?
  • How does he get inspiration for his creative designs?
  • Do his values in life cross over into his creative work?
  • How does the creative landscape of the UK compare to the US?
  • none
  • What difference will Steve Jobs death really have on Apples future?
  • Whose going to beat Apple?
  • Describe a time when things were going bad.
  • Who will win – the closed operating system of apple or the open architecture platform such as Microsoft?
  • no questions
  • What’s the one technology you think will drive consumer products in the next 10 years
  • How much of the company was driven by Steve Jobs alone?
  • does he think now that Steve is gone Apple will loose their direction?
  • What other successful companies are applying simplicity to their product, marketing and strategy in the way Apple is?
  • Which entrepreneur/CEO (e.g. Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey) do you think is most like Steve Jobs?
  • What advice on branding would you have for a first-time entrepreneur?
  • Given Steve Jobs didnt initially like ‘iMac’, how did you change his mind?
  • how would you advise the UK & Ireland to play in the technology market with the continued rise of China?
  • What is the most compelling thing that you find attracts the best engineers?
  • How do your analogies relate to professional services organizations providing productivity coaching and consulting services?
  • How do you preserve the culture of simplicity as the company grows?
  • How would you apply the ‘insanely simple’ obsession to the financial services sector (banking, investing etc.)
  • If he wasn’t at Apple which startup has he seen in the last 6 months that he would join?
  • How did you manage to keep the brand and message simple throughout the world?
  • What is you next big idea?
  • Was design a major driver for simplicity or was it functionality?
  • How did you encourage people to try your ideas?
  • What is the event/idea/book that had the most impact on your creative thinking?
  • If its so simple, why can’t microsoft do it?
  • Did everyone else at Apple believe in “Insanely Simple”?
  • Did everyone else at Apple believe in “Insanely Simple”?
  • What is the single most important business principle that you have stuck with over the years?
  • How to keep yourself creative
  • What product/s / brand/s do you wish you’d been involved with?
  • What has driven the mass following of Apple products and brand?
  • What has driven the mass following of Apple products and brand?
  • Did you ever think that the Apple brand would become such a household name?
  • What was Steve Jobs’ most annoying trait
  • What was Steve Jobs’ most annoying trait
  • What are three frequent errors — admirably aimed at ‘simplifying’ customer experience — that you’ve seen recently?
  • What’s been your proudest moment of your career (not necessarily the biggest)?
  • What’s been your proudest moment of your career (not necessarily the biggest)?
  • Do you think simplicity is a trend or a basic human need that will always be relevant? If it is a basic need, why are so few companies get it right?
  • Where does the creative inspirations for Apple’s marketing programmes come from? (Jobs, staff, external, etc….)
  • What’s the real value of building a software product brand name
  • How do big companies stay innovative?
  • Which companies inspire you?
  • What one thing does he wish that he had done dfifferently during his time at Apple?
  • How can the UK create the maximum value from its ‘creative technology’ talent?
  • How can the UK create the maximum value from its ‘creative technology’ talent?
  • How do you apply the concept of simplicity to creating your product and then marketing it?
  • What will be your top 3 tips for a startup about to launch a new product?
  • Where do you find inspiration for ideas on marketing products?
  • Is there a size limit on how far you can go by keeping it simple
  • If you’re starting a company what are the 3 things you should focus on to work towards achieving a brand like Apple?
  • What is the one key thing that Apple deliver?
  • Will come back to you on this
  • After marketing Apple, does it feel like every Marketing job that follows is a comedown?
  • Did you ever feel a marketing decision you’d made would ruin Apple’s credibility?
  • How does Apple execute so well so consistently?
  • What’s the best forum / procedure for ideation?
  • What are the qualities of a great marketeer?
  • How do you manage building and planning for today while continuously innovating for the future?
  • Is “simple” the new “white”?
  • Why can’t Microsoft do it?
  • Was there a pivitol moment when the team at Apple realised that making things so simple was so important?
  • to give more detail on the processes which generate and turn these product ideas into reality
  • Is there a company that does what Apple does better than Apple?
  • What do you do when you need inspiration?
  • guest
  • Best and worst things about apple
  • What’s Apple’s next big thing and can they keep the hits coming?
  • How do you ‘engineer’ simplicity?
  • Would you like a drink?
  • How many iterations of the iPhone before we saw it?
  • What’s the principle way in keeping a brand and it’s marketing ideas fresh?
  • How would you describe Jobs in 6 words?
  • How do you work out whether the next product and it’s packaging will delight your customers
  • What is a good name for a brand?
  • What do you perceive as the greatest strenghts Europe has in technology – software especially – and how best can we leverage and grow these strenghts?
  • Why is Apple so successful?
  • Can Apple sustain its dominance?
  • n/a
  • Whats the one thing you wished you had done differently?
  • WHAT DO YOU MOST FEAR IS TRUE?
  • Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTV probably next. Does Ken think that the next big product is already being tested by Apple and any guesses as to what it could be?
  • How do you deal with engineers who find it hard to see the results of their work through the eyes of a consumber using it for the first few times?
  • how do you know when you’ve innovated “enough”?
  • How do you continue to innovate at the leading edge as the product set becomes increasingly more successful
  • How do you continue to innovate at the leading edge as the product set becomes increasingly more successful
  • How do you continue to innovate at the leading edge as the product set becomes increasingly more successful
  • I need to give that some thought….
  • Can you protect the “insanely simple” in business?
  • What was the most challenging project in Ken’s career?
  • Can Apple think as differently without Jobs?
  • Any advice on how a small startup can improve their brand awareness?
  • Can apple continue to innovate as successfully in the next 10 years, as it has in the previous?
  • Could apple have happened anywhere but the USA?
  • Is Macintosh not a really strange name for a computer?
  • Who else inspires you?
  • What is it about your job/business/the tech industry that keeps you up at night?
  • Why the letter ‘i’?
  • How can simplicity be measured?
  • How do you keep it simple, when so many want to make it complicated?
  • What industries or products are most ripe for disruption through design?
  • What do you think of Facebook
  • How do you ensure that all aspects of the business deliver in accordance with the vision?
  • How do you stay focussed on a long term vision and not be distracted or diverted by passing opportunities?
  • With the prominent rise in Facebook and Social Media in general, will the bubble burst, and if so, who or what does he think will be the next area that will take the stage ?
  • What’s your favourite insanely simple website (not including google search)?
  • Why has the little “i” been so successful? In terms of how recognised it is.
  • Which one other marketing campaign would you like to have led and why?
  • How can the lessons learnt from apple be applied to the wider markets
  • do you always follow your gut instinct
  • How do you keep things simple for everyone when people’s desires often conflict?
  • What’s all thew fuss about ?
  • Can Apple’s success be ever lasting?
  • How do you see Apple’s future without Jobs?

Our next BLN CEO Tales in London on 31st May with Ken Segall is proving exceedingly popular. Not only is Ken sharing one of the few ‘insider’s views’ on why Apple has been the phenomenal success over the past 15 years, his book, ‘Insanely Simple, the obsession that drives Apple’s success‘, has just hit the New York Times bestseller list with some rave reviews.

Thanks to the support of Imperial College Business School in offering us a larger venue, we still have spaces available, but hurry.

Ken will talk about his experiences at Apple as well what that means for any technology business trying to emulate their success. You would be simply insane to miss it. More info…

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