Saturday, January 17, 2015

Color and Vision

I have been color challenged on two fronts - color blind and color naming of various shades and hues, and the two add up to make it more complicated. I was, recently happy to come across a series of articles on NPR Color Decoded: Stories that span the Spectrum - especially the one on where they explain that color is perception.

In "These X's Are The Same Shade, So What Does That Say About Color?" Mark Fairchild of Rochester Institute of Technology explains that color is perception. To quote:

"I could change the color of illumination on that apple and make it look green or blue or something completely different," he says. "The redness isn't a property of the apple. It's a property of the apple in combination with a particular lighting that's on it and a particular observer looking at it."
And I was happy to understand that perceiving color is not easy, combine it with my color blindness, it explains the challenges I run into all the time!

Insanely Simple

Insanely Simple by Ken Segall is an excellent book on how Simplicity drives Apple, and how Steve Jobs built a monument to Simplicity in Apple itself.

The book has a marketing perspective through and through - an reader should keep in mind. Ken worked closely with Steve Jobs as ad agency creative director for NeXT and Apple. He was a member of the team that created Apple's legendary Think Different campaign.

It dawned upon me that what makes Apple successful is not just beautiful design. It is their entire approach to everything. And Ken has looked at all those aspects from Product Development, to selling to marketing via the lens of Simplicity. It depicts, and Ken writes bluntly, on how other organizations such as Dell have failed at attempting to more like Apple.

The key takeaways are the chapter titles themselves. To summarize, embarking on the Road to Simplicity requires:

1. Rigor
2. Tenacity
3. Unwavering, and unrelenting discipline NOT to take the easier road
4. Small, dedicated teams. Hands On.
5. Movement, Velocity - willing to make bets, and admitting mistakes when they happen and putting yourself back on the corrected course