The “Simple” Thing Apple Does That Competitors Are Too Smart To Do… Dre Baldwin

My AirPod earbuds started losing charging power some months ago. I went on Amazon and bought a highly-rated pair of noname earbuds that I’d use exclusively for working out; I could still use the now-less-powerful AirPods at home when I’d have the charging case handy.

The workout earbuds work perfectly. They’ve been great at holding a charge and the sound is just as good as the AirPods. My only critique of them is that the controls are quirky and somewhat unclear.

I’m used to tapping on the AirPods to control them — next track, answering a call, etc — and these Amazon buds claimed to have similar functions. There were too many times, though, that tapping an earbud would either stop the music or do nothing at all. More than once I’ve stopped my run or lift to get the earbuds back playing music after a tap caused them to stop responding to anything.

I’ve defaulted to using my Apple Watch exclusively to control the music during workouts.

Just this week, I took the workout earbuds out of their charging case and put them in my ears. Only the left one played any sound. The right one began to work only when I double-tapped it, resulting in a “power on!” notice from the earbud. In six months, it was the first time I’ve ever had to do that to get sound from the earbud.

(It’s not lost on me that AirPods are 100% compatible with other Apple products as opposed to my aftermarket replacement earbuds, and that probably plays a role in this annoyance.)


Last week I bought a second set of ice pack wraps to use on my legs after running. I guess the older you get, the more ice you’ll need. I have three areas of need between the ankles and the hips- hamstrings, knees and calves — that can be ice-wrapped, so one set of ice packs was no longer enough.

The new ice wraps came with a 10-page instruction manual.

The earbuds mentioned earlier had a 20-page booklet.

The small-but-powerful light that suctions to my laptop to illuminate my face on video calls came with a sizable instruction leaflet.

Many of Apple’s products don’t even have instruction manuals.


This was a Steve Jobs stroke of genius: taking the time to make Apple’s stuff so simple and user friendly so as to not even need instructions. Even a caveman can use Apple stuff right out of the box.

My Amazon workout earbuds cost me $45. The cheapest AirPods on the market cost $160 USD. Are the AirPods 4x better? Not at all. Brand has something (actually, a lot) to do with the difference in price. But the brand is the brand for a reason: Apple takes the time to make it simple and has the discipline to keep it simple.

They design their stuff for the lowest common denominators of technical skill: people who don’t (or don’t want to) read manuals or want to know how/why their iPad works. They just want to know that it works so they can browse the web or watch their Hulu shows and be happy. This baked-in simplicity allows Apple to not only appeal to, but successfully serve a wide audience.


Every time you add a new bell or whistle to a system, while it may excite you and even some of your audience, you also lose some folks.

These are the people who don’t want to have to learn and understand more “stuff” just to get what they came for. And the more “stuff” you add to your offering, the fewer people who’ll actually get it, use it and understand it.

The fewer who understand it, the fewer who’ll feel as if they got what they paid for. And the fewer who feel they’re getting what they paid for… well, you know the rest.

We created Work On Your Game University to make it simple and easy for you to not only step your Game up (of course) but also to connect with like-minded people in our community and to get direct access to me through our member-only live virtual events.

We have 4 levels to choose from, so get in where you fit in here: