Did Jonathan Ive ‘almost single-handedly’ save Apple?

Investor’s Business Daily takes a look at Apple’s design honcho, Jonathan Ive:

“Ive found himself frustrated with PCs. For all their vaunted abilities, they weren’t easy for the uninitiated to understand. Ive felt technically inept,” Ken Spencer Brown writes for Investor’s Business Daily. “Then he encountered a Macintosh. He understood how it worked. It let him design on screen what he saw in his head. He fell in love. The more he learned about the company that made it, the more he wanted to join it. In 1992, Ive decided to make the jump from designing other products to designing one he truly believed in.”

“Jonathan Ive, Apple’s in-house product designer, reinvented the firm’s computer line with a revamp of its Macintosh line. How? Ive looked beyond the beige box that epitomized PC design at the time. With a curvy, candy-colored, translucent shell and all-in-one package, the machine was a stark departure from the cold, bland IBM clones that came before it. It was a risky gambit in an industry pushing ‘serious’ machines, but it paid off. Ive almost single-handedly saved the firm. In the process, he changed the computer industry with an aesthetic that quickly reached into other fields,” Brown writes.

Brown writes, “Apple has become a touchstone in PC design, garnering numerous awards and a fiercely loyal following. The 36-year-old, British-born Ive, recognized last year as one of Esquire magazine’s ‘best and brightest,’ has won kudos from Newsweek, Time, Popular Science and USA Today. Recently London’s Design Museum named him ‘designer of the year.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, Ive “almost single-handedly saved the firm?” Nah. Steve Jobs did that. Still, it was right here on MacDailyNews that SteveJack predicted Ive was next in line for Apple’s CEO position writing, “Watch Ive in the Power Mac G5 intro video. Ive first appears about 40% in, at the 2:50 mark of the 6:33 minute video. Note that he is almost wearing a black mock turtleneck already. Contrast his presentation style and enthusiasm with the other Apple presenters. Can you sense the almost Jobsian, call it Junior Jobsian, aura? Ive has ‘it’ while all of the other Apple employees in the video are just nice people talking about a computer. And Ive should only get better with time. Could we be watching Steve Jobs’ successor, Apple’s future CEO, in the 31-year-old Ive? Watch and see if Ive begins to join Steve on stage during keynotes soon.”

After all, as often as “Jobs” looks wrong in a sentence, like a capitalized “jobs” (as in employment), so does “Ive” foul up the flow of a sentence with readers expecting “I’ve” or “Ives” (as in Burl).


  1. finally, someone publishes the fact that Jobs may have had the energy to get people behind him but Jobs wouldn’t have had anything to sell if Ive didn’t create the computer. if you don’t believe that, imagine Jobs still trying to sell beige boxes (or the failed black NeXT box). not to say that Jobs hasn’t done a lot to turn Apple around, but there’s no denying the truth about Ive.

  2. There are numerous brilliant minds at Apple, many known others less known but Steve remains the Hub in the wheel, putting the best people together, forming a perfect team that is able to create State of the Arts products as we know them today. I would like to see The Team together sometime at stage at a Mac World Expo. That why we love Apple.

  3. Ive is a success because a) he is very good at his job and b) he knows how to work in and forste a team. Exactly like Steve Jobs, who’s return to Apple sparked a round of innovation and advancement that has continued unabated to this day. Dont forget that prior to Jobs return, Ive did nothing of note at Apple.

  4. Ive is a fantastic designer and the thought of him succeeding Steve in the future is an exciting thing to ponder. However, being an exceptionally creative person in product design and being a visionary capable of determining (or creating) the next big thing and of bringing a team together to bring that thing to market are not the same. After the original all-in-one Macs, there were no revolutionary hardware designs coming out of Apple after Steve left, even with Ive there (the Newton and the Twentieth Anniversary Mac being an exception); the real innovations and advances were in the OS. Otherwise, Apple was mostly making “beige boxes” like every other PC manufacturer because of a series of CEOs who were more concerned with profit margins over innovation and running Apple like HP or Dell rather than making compelling, revolutionary products (look at the whole Performa, Centris, etc. line with over 50 different models of beige); they would probably never let or even encourage a great designer “go for it” because it would be too different from what the other computer companies were doing. Great product design is meaningless without the vision and marketing savy required to bring it people’s attention. Apple will always be able to bring on another CEO, but without the “vision thing” that Steve does so well, it will be just another computer manufacturer. By the way, “the failed black NeXT box” was not a failure – just far ahead of its time; the innovations in that system, such as on screen postscript, were amazing for the time and if you are using OS X, you are using the essential NeXT operating system with a prettier face; AND look at all those PC manufacturers now in love with black components.

  5. When thinking of a name to give my pet rat I immediately determined that it would be an apple name. What mac fanatic wouldn’t name their pet with an apple name??

    After discounting iRat, Stevie, Jobs, etc I settled on Ive. That was a month ago and there have been no regrets, though my girlfriend has decided to add onto the name and sometimes calls the rat Ivesy.

  6. I love the video clips of Jonathan Ive whenever they release a new product. I’d love to see more of them. He is so enthusiastic about his new creations. As the article states, he does not take any credit for the products success or beauty. It takes the creativity and passion of everyone on the team to make it innovative and beautiful.

    Jonathan is the best salesman I have ever seen. His passion for the product is contagious.

  7. “Still, it was right here on MacDailyNews that SteveJack predicted Ive was next in line for Apple’s CEO position”

    This seems like premature self-gratification given the fact that Ive hasn’t been promoted yet. The article discusses Ive and his designs, not his impending assention to the CEO rank.

  8. rageous,

    SteveJack predicted, “Jonathon Ive, Apple Computer CEO circa 2025.”

    If that happens, MacDailyNews was first by a longshot. Even if it happens tomorrow, as SteveJack writes, “You heard it here first.”

    And it is included here, presumably, because MDN thinks highly of Ive, but not so highly that they think anyone other than Jobs “single-handedly saved” Apple. At least it seemed clear to me.

  9. My point was the MDN comment had zero to do with the article. The piece makes no mention of the running order for those who may be potential successors to Jobs, so the tooting of ones own horn in this case seems unnecessary.

    And the fact they “predicted” it is nothing special. It’s nothing more than a guesss that’ll be overlooked if untrue and of course touted like the gospel if proven true. It’s like saying GWB will win the next election. if he does, does this make me or anyone else who says it the next Nostradamus?

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