Jonathan Ive: at Apple ‘we make money to support our desire to make nice things’

“Apple vice-president of industrial design, Jonathan Ive, made a rare public appearance at London’s Design Museum, where he spoke frankly about Apple and his design career. Ive – who leads the team that designed the iMac, iPod, PowerBook, iBook, Power Mac – every Apple product, is UK-born (Chingford), and studied at Newcastle Polytechnic. Ive spent time in Newcastle earlier this week, speaking with staff and students,” Jonny Evans reports for Macworld UK.

“‘So many students ask me about design movements and technology – but those things change,’ Ive told the audience, saying that he believes success as a designer is about, ‘focus and caring.’ Ive looked back at his student years: ‘I remember throwing stuff away and starting again, because I thought it could be a lot better. I worked hard at college. I understand that if you are prepared to keep going, if you really, really care, I think that’s fundamental,’ he advised,” Evans reports.

“Ive’s care and attention to detail imbues the products Apple makes, and Apple as a company ‘isn’t about making money, it’s about making nice things,’ he said. ‘We make money to support our desire to make nice things,’ Evans reports. “Former Apple CEO John Sculley has sometimes claimed that he initiated Apple’s iMac development. Ive denied this: ‘I’ve heard a couple of things – that’s a myth.’ In a rare show of sarcasm, he added: ‘Sure, we had loads of iMacs and iPods on the drawing board before Steve Jobs came back to the company.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “We make money to support our desire to make nice things.” Can you imagine Bill Gates or Michael Dell saying something like that? Gates and Dell will probably laugh out loud when they read Ive’s statement, but it will ultimately be the reason why they fail. Today’s younger generations look for quality products and Microsoft’s fragmented, old, delayed, stripped, insecure operating systems thrown on a commodity consumer-grade box assembled by the likes of Dell just don’t cut it anymore.

For our Windows-only friends, information about smoothly adding a powerful, secure, and fun Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal can be found here.


  1. “it isn’t about making money, it’s about making nice things”…ironically, as we have seen…money shows up at the door as a happy by-product when you get this right.

  2. I was lucky to get to Ive’s talk – actually it was an hour and a quarter of Q&A’s. He’s a very focussed, very modest and incredibly endearing. He got a fantastic ovation and stayed to chat informally too which was great.

    No alluding to products or innovations to come but on being asked he would not discuss the Apple three button mouse – ie bound to be on the way.

    He’s also no computer geek – he didn’t get the 17″ Powerbook to display what he wanted!

    I gave him 10 out of 10. He’s a great advert for Apple.

  3. ” Can you imagine Bill Gates or Michael Dell saying something like that?”
    Yes I can. But not with a straight face. And not without the audience bursting out loud.

  4. I’ve always said with Apple (as with all the best companies) ‘Profit’ is the reward for seeking and delivering excellence. For Microsoft ‘Profit’ is the goal in itself – how little can be done for the biggest return.

  5. Ive is a genius and an icon. Simple as that. Add Jobs into the mix and you get what we have. A company driven by ideas not profit, and as noted, as long as your ad types do their bit, bingo, profit.

    Now, FFS, advertise the OS.

  6. Thank goodness, Ive is not driven by money but by product philosophy, which happens to be the same as Jobs.

    Otherwise, some other company would’ve swiped him from Apple.

  7. Scorp_56:

    I normally loathe ten word soundbites, but yours is an exception to the rule.

    To add some nuance to your argument, what can you say when Ballmer promotes the idea of a $100 computer running a $300 operating system so that the piracy he perceives as an issue will hopefully disappear.

    To a sales guy of Ballmer’s calibre (i.e. lucky who he roomed with at college) or even Michael Dell, aesthetics are an afterthought. Ballmer’s sole interest is in driving down everyone else’s costs so that his share of the pie increases. Dell’s interests run along similar lines.

    I’m relatively sure that Apple may also be guilty of screwing down suppliers on cost, but the difference is that – for the most part – they don’t compound the ‘sin’ by screwing customers on quality.

  8. The article should be titled.

    “at Apple ‘we make money on fools who pay to much and to support our desire to drive nice cars, fly in gulfstreams and make nice things that are typically obsolete in a year”

  9. I saw a 20″ iMac G5 for the first time yesterday. Very nice indeed. The new Cinema displays are also spectacular, although they didn’t have a 30″ one on display. Still, the 23″ version was awesome. ;(

  10. Ive is truly a visionary genius, like Jobs. I wish he’d write a book.

    NoMacForYou, quit spreading you stink around here. You’ve proven time and time again that you have no appreciation for quality, style, and ingenuity. Go back to your Dell running Windows XP. You deserve them.

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