Design Chief Jonathan Ive: Apple’s success not driven by money

The new MacBook“By any measure, he is among the most important figures in technology of the last decade, a major influence on the way we use and interact with computers and mobile phones, a British designer who ranks with the Conrans and the Dysons,” Rory Cellan-Jones reports for BBC News. “But have you ever heard Jonathan Ive, the Apple designer behind the iMac, the iPod and the iPhone, talk about his work?”

“I hadn’t – so when a friend invited me to hear him speak at the Royal College of Art’s Innovation Night I leaped at the chance,” Cellan-Jones reports.

“Amongst his own people, the designer seemed more comfortable than faced with intrusive probing from some impertinent hack – though I did manage to get one question in about what he’d have liked to change about the first version of the iPhone (no clear answer, I’m afraid, though he said designers were never satisfied with their work),” Cellan-Jones reports.

“And what emerged were some fascinating insights into the culture of Apple and the craft of industrial design,” Cellan-Jones reports. “Ive was insistent that the key to Apple’s success was that it was not driven by money – a claim that may raise eyebrows amongst shareholders and customers – but by a complete focus on delivering just a few desirable and useful products.”

MacDailyNews Note: No eyebrow raising here. Ive has been consistent on this for years. Please see the related article: Jonathan Ive: at Apple ‘we make money to support our desire to make nice things’ – October 29, 2004

Cellan-Jones continues, “He said that Steve Jobs had always made it very clear that this focus on products was the only reason for Apple to exist… So how did the company decide what customers wanted – surely by using focus groups? ‘We don’t do focus groups,’ he said firmly, explaining that they resulted in bland products designed not to offend anyone.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

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