Creative Minds Behind John’s Phone (Dubbed as ‘The Dumb Phone’)


We recently wrote about John’s Phone, the phone that can only make calls. The phone has absolutely no other functionality other than calling a number. Even the address book has to be filled up manually in a notepad accompanying the phone. We got in touch for an exclusive interview with the creative minds Hein Mevissen and Diederiekje Bok, the founders of agency John Doe Amsterdam to know more about the product design process.

The Ideation Process

“Simplicity is the key. We wanted to make the simplest phone ever, easy to use in every way. This means not only easy buttons and a clear screen but also a very strong battery. A battery for one month, this makes it very comfortable to have this phone with you while traveling or just have it with you at unexpected moments for calling. And other feature to make the phone simple: the phone should work worldwide”, says Hein.


“John’s Phone is basic and no nonsense. We only promise good quality. And we add an extra weighty brand value: humor. John’s Phone takes its products seriously. But there’s always time and space for a good laugh which means that the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously. Savvy consumers will appreciate this and it gives the brand fresh opportunities and ideas a chance”, explain the creators.

The Push to Dare

One requires dollops of courage to go ahead with such a project. Gumption would have out rightly rejected the idea but going with the gut sometimes pays off. “On one hand, simplicity is something we use at any moment in our day-to-day life. On the other hand, it is the most difficult thing that we have to achieve. It takes only a few seconds to spell ‘simplicity’ but it represents a fulfilling world: a world of simplicity, a world where every person on earth wants to belong” philosophizes Hein, making perfect sense.

Origins From The Supermarket

‘From The Supermarket’ is a brand of John Doe which was launched in 2005. “From The Supermarket is again a no-nonsense brand, it doesn’t pretend to be anything more: it’s a good and honest product packed in a stylish and contemporary design. The attractiveness of the products is based on their quality and fresh appearance. The first of a range of products was Water From The Supermarket; it enjoyed national and international popularity. John’s Phone is an extension of this ideas”, says Hein.

John Doe is soon going to extend the product line with products like T-shirt From The Supermarket and Juice From The Supermarket. They all have the same promise: Back to the basics.

A Tip for the Complex Souls 

Why make it all so difficult? Stop trying to complicate it all. The tendency to complicate things in it-self gives us lots of opportunities to come with simplicity!

If you're taken by the simplicity, you can also order a phone for yourself from the website.

- Jubin Mehta


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