Jonathan Ive: Apple products eschew ‘godlessness’

“Just one person looks twice at Jonathan Ive as we walk through the Apple store in London’s Covent Garden and that’s a member of staff,” Shane Richmond reports for The Telegraph. “The customers are oblivious to the presence of the man responsible for the design of the computers, iPads, iPhones and iPods that they are admiring, tapping and caressing throughout the shop.”

“Considerably more people will know Ive’s face after today, when he is to be knighted for services to design and enterprise. The honour, he says, is ‘incredibly humbling”’,'” Richmond reports. “‘All I’ve ever wanted to do is design and make; it’s what I love doing. It’s great if you can find what you love to do. Finding it is one thing but then to be able to practise that and be preoccupied with that is another,’ he says. ‘I’m very aware of an incredible tradition in the UK of designing and making, and so to be recognised in this way is really wonderful.'”

Richmond reports, “Ive talks about Apple’s attention to detail in its products – details that often won’t be seen by consumers at all – as a desire to ‘finish the back of the drawer.’ ‘We do it because we think it’s right,’ he says. The seed of that idea was planted while watching his father work.”

MacDailyNews Take: Just like Steve Jobs got it from his father, Paul Jobs.

Richmond reports, “It was while he was at university that Ive first encountered an Apple Mac. Having considered himself to be technically inept, he was amazed to find a computer that he could use. ‘I suddenly realised that it wasn’t me at all. The computers that I had been expected to use were absolutely dreadful.’ “When he talks about his work with Apple, he almost always talks about ‘we,’ rather than ‘I.’ Everything he says emphasises the teamwork involved in producing products such as the iMac, the candy-coloured computer that relaunched Apple on the path to success, or the iPad, the tablet that has redefined the way people use computers. certain words come up time and again, particularly ‘simplicity’ and ‘focus.'”

Richmond reports, “‘We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense,’ he explains. ‘Our products are tools and we don’t want design to get in the way. We’re trying to bring simplicity and clarity, we’re trying to order the products. I think subconsciously people are remarkably discerning. I think that they can sense care.’ The care that goes into Apple’s products is something that Ive speaks about earnestly. It’s a principle that he traces back to the industrial revolution. ‘One of the concerns was that there would somehow be, inherent with mass production and industrialisation, a godlessness and a lack of care.'”

“The last year has been one of significant change for Apple. A new chief executive, Tim Cook, took over just months before the death of Steve Jobs, the former chief executive and co-founder of the company. The absence of Jobs has led some analysts to predict an inevitable decline for the company,” Richmond reports. “As you would expect, Ive disagrees: ‘We’re developing products in exactly the same way that we were two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago. It’s not that there are a few of us working in the same way: there is a large group of us working in the same way.’ That team is the reason that Ive believes Apple will continue to succeed. ‘We have become rather addicted to learning as a group of people and trying to solve very difficult problems as a team. And we get enormous satisfaction from doing that. Particularly when you’re sat on a plane and it appears that the majority of people are using something that you’ve collectively agonised over. It’s a wonderful reward.'”

Tons more in the full, two-part article/interview, – very highly recommended – here (part one) and here (part two).


      1. Please leave your belief in some fictitious bearded dude in the sky out of this.

        and pick up a book on history while you are at it Einstein, the founding fathers were deists.

            1. That’s a pretty pathetic comeback. Even if the founding fathers were mass murdering cross dressers, it doesn’t change the fact that God exists.

            2. You are one sick individual Kissy. God gave us our unalienable rights laid out for us in the US Constitution that you LIbtards hate so much.

              We – everything didn’t all just magically appear out of thin air one day without God’s help.

            3. You hardly ever comment these days, but you can’t seem to resist taking a stab at believers. It’s interesting really. Got a story to tell, I’ll bet.

            4. “dressers, it doesn’t change the fact that God exists”

              Wow. I guess the Fandroids are right.. We really are sheep.
              Are you F’in insane? The… FACT.. the God exists? Fact…. Fact ..or… Faith?

              You’re so full of shit.

            5. One of the major disputes in the process of writing the Constitution was how to get rid of slavery. The leadership of the body that wrote it, such as Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Ben Franklin etc. could not muster enough votes in the process to write a ban on slavery into the original Constitution. They tried. Yes, even though some of them were slave owners. They knew it wasn’t right. And it took another 70 years, and at a cost of 600,000 lives, but we did it. I have been a teacher and unfortunately political correctness which is popular these days frowns upon looking at the founders in a positive way. We will regret doing that.
              Have a blessed day.

            6. Major dispute? Yes. Controversial? Yes. But the compromises solidified slavery rather than trying to get rid of it. There were a number of signatories emphatically protecting slavery.
               • The “3/5’s rule”: Article 1, §2, ¶ 3.
               • Prohibiting banning importing slaves: Article 1, §9, ¶ 1.
               • The “poll tax”: Article 1, §9, ¶ 4.
               • The “fugitive slave clause” Article 4, §2, ¶ 3.
              There are also indirect protections like prohibition on export taxes, etc.

              Unfortunately, you can’t fault only ‘political correctness’ with badly changing teaching of the constitution and the founders: e.g., Texas.

            7. Frederick Douglass himself argues that the 3/5 Rule was an effort to weaken the southern states slavery position. The slave states wanted to count EVERY slave as a citizen in order to establish more votes. The emancipators argued that if the slaves were counted as whole citizens then they should have full rights. Counting the slaves as 3/5 actually helped the antislavery movement. Too bad you have a restricted view of history.

            8. @ Mike Aware
              I recommend you read Madison’s notes from the debate. There were several delegates opposed to slavery (notably Gov Morris of PA), but the ‘3/5’s compromise wasn’t meant to help the anti-slavery movement, rather it was to secure the southern states confederating. Davie (delegate from NC) said, “If the Eastern States meant therefore to exclude them [slaves] altogether the business was at an end.” Slaves were not counted as citizens, but added to indentured servants and Indians who had paid taxes as “three fifths of all other Persons.”

              Since Douglass wasn’t born until more than 40 years after the signing, I think his analysis is more that post hoc the clause helped, than it was the intent.

              As for my “restricted view of history,” it comes from reading original documents. I suggest you try it.

            9. Well said Kent. The Brain Dead Lemmings will never absorb that.

              It doesn’t fit the commie propaganda they have been programmed to regurgitate over and over again.

              Liberals are the most disgusting group of PARASITES ever dreamed up.

            1. Wrong – please show me anywhere in the constitution let alone any of our founding documents where it says ‘separation of church state’, it doesn’t. That phrase can only be found in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury baptists and if you read that letter his intent as the intent of the constitution was so that the state(government) would not dictate to the church what it could or could not do or be. The founders never intended the church or God to be scrubbed from the public.

            2. There IS separation of church and state but YOU are being disingenuous by not quoting the entire clause. The establishment clause simple means their won’t be any OFFICIAL state religion. That’s it. It doesn’t mean the government cannot support faith ventures. It doesn’t mean religious people and organizations should be excluded from the public sector. In fact, if you read Jefferson’s letter you’ll note the context to the Anabaptists is that they should NOT worry about how they worship Jesus, because the state CANNOT interfere in how they worship because there is a “wall of separation between church and state.” YOU would like to completely hide the context of these ideas because they make the case AGAINST you not FOR you. But you already know this Mr. Disengenous.

              By the way, heres the text YOU linked to. I’m sure you didn’t think anyone would actually read it & understand it. Too bad for you.

              The establishment clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The first approach is called the “separation” or “no aid” interpretation, while the second approach is called the “non-preferential” or “accommodation” interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government’s entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.

          1. … understand the meaning of “deists”? It means they believed in “God”. So … who’s a buffoon?
            Spiffy, thanks for turning an apolitical comment into a political argument. The point of Progressives (“liberals”) is not to GIVE Americans unalienable rights but to help them KEEP those rights safe from the attacks of the rich and the Radical Right Religious Conservatives – these day represented by the Republicans.
            By the way … there is no exemption of those rights disallowing women, blacks or gays from enjoying them. Just thought that would make your day.

            1. These days it’s pass the lord and praise the ammunition.

              Conservatards worship their phallic symbols:
              Big Trucks
              Big Guns
              Cowboy hats, boots and paraphernalia

              Conservatards also reject the tenants of Jesus teaching:

            1. If God isn’t a delusion, then “people like me” are not deluded. Get it? Watch the video, you might like it as one side believes as you do and one side as I do.

            1. “…the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of OUR LORD one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,…”

              You probably think they meant Budah, Allah or the Spaghetti Monster in the sky. Get a clue dude.

              Let me guess, you think they didn’t really meant the Lord Jesus Christ. And when the motto for the revolution was “WE HAVE NO KING BUT KING JESUS!” they didn’t really mean that either.

              BY THE WAY. Here’s some interesting quotes from people who would know better than you if the founding fathers were “deists.”

              “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!” Patrick Henry

              “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty…of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” John Jay, First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

            2. Mike Aware: The problem with the people who argue against what you said is that the make the incredible leap to assume that we as Christians somehow want to make our faith mandatory, assuming that we are the same as the other major faith that currently is the most competitive and antagonistic to us.

              Nothing could be further from the truth. Mandatory conversion by any degree df force, verbal, emotional , or physical is by definition invalid. We want only converts who take it on willingly with forethought.

              It must be by free choice.

              Sorry for some of you if that takes your straw man argument away but……… no doubt some of you, even after what I have said, will reword it in some way, but thats not my problem.

              You ALL have a blessed day. The definition of the word bless means to us that God involves Himself in our lives, not that He approves. That is why I can give a blessing to everyone and its your choice whether you receive it or not. No problem.

            3. Yep. The founding fathers COULD have mandated that only those who hold to their faith tenants hold all the power in the newly founded United States. But it would have made them no better than King George. They believed in the God Given freedom of all men to even repudiate God if they so wished. ANd they felt that as they established a society on the principles found in their faith that all people would recognize the goodness of their God and would want to know Him. A mandate that’s found in the Jewish Old Testament. So don’t be so fearful Atheists, we won’t force you to go to Heaven. But just don’t be so obnoxious of those of us who recognize our own imperfections and need the Grace of God to get there. On the other hand I can completely understand why people DON’T want anything to do with our faith as it has been greatly misrepresented by those who we count our own.

            4. The word “Lord” was commonly used by both religious and secular people when denoting dates. “In the year of our lord” was quite common… You thinking that it had to be religious, and therefore meaning Jesus, is just as presumptuous as someone saying it was any of the other deities you named.

              Either way, the fact that it was relegated to the signatory should still say something.

              I’m fine with people believing whatever they want, they just need to learn to not be so sensitive about it. People who are resolute in their beliefs don’t feel the need to convert everyone or tell everyone else that they are right and the others are wrong.

              Notice, you have no idea what my beliefs are – I just made a statement that “God” is not in the Constitution.

            5. Sir, I never attacked you beliefs. I responded to your snarky challenge and you lost. Whatever you beliefs are, your philosophy of faith is flawed because one of the main tenants of Christianity is to tell others of what Jesus as Savior has done for the world. Do all believers do this with tact, humility, respect, wisdom and love as the scriptures declare. No of course not and for that I apologize on behalf of Stupid people in the church. But just because there is a misrepresentation of the sharing of the Gospel, which incidentally means Good News, it doesn’t mean we should be ostracized from the market place of ideas simply because it makes some people uncomfortable.

            6. Actually, if my “challenge” is taken literally, then no, I did not “lose” – the word “God” is not in the Constitution.

              I do realize that people of your beliefs take often liberties with when you take things literally (often taking things literally that I would never, while at other times ignoring facts and “translating” things), so I can see how you think my saying to find one word (God) actually meant another (Lord). In my logical world, these are two different words, which is why they are spelled and pronounced differently.

            7. They did not have C.E and B.C.E. as today. Just a common tool of reference. If using In ‘The Year of Our Lord’ on a document makes one a Christian, then we can close up all the churches now and just copy the phrase on paper as fire insurance.

              As to And when the motto for the revolution was “WE HAVE NO KING BUT KING JESUS!”, that probably didn’t include the Unitarians who deny the deity of Jesus Christo, the deists who think that gawd is unknown and unconcerned with human affairs, the Jewish founders and then the good old freethinkers that were more common then (sadly) than now.

            8. Being that the original request was to find God in the Constitution, the point of my post was NOT that the constitution proves that the founding of the government was Christian, your post makes no sense. AND what difference does it make who disagreed with the motto? It is evidence that those who initiated the revolution were believers in Jesus Christ. Try to stay on point sir.

            9. Unitarians do not believe in Jesus Christ as divine.
              Deists do not believe in Jesus Christ as divine.
              Jews do not believe Jesus Christ was divine.

              That just wiped out probably half of the founding fathers.

      2. First, the country was not *founded* on anything about “GOD”. The founding document of the U.S. is the U.S. Constitution. That document says absolutely *NOTHING* about god or any deity at all.

        The first *Amendment* to the U.S. Constitution (not the Constitution itself) starts out…
        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Thus the U.S. Government cannot promote or define any religion or give any kind of preferential treatment of any religion. Also the U.S.Government cannot forbid the exercise of any religion. In the last 100 years this has been more clearly defined as U.S. Government funds or assets cannot be used to support any religion. For example: this is how the whole prayer in public school fell out. The U.S. Government does NOT say (and has never said) you cannot pray in public schools. It does say that teachers at public schools (who are funded by U.S. Government money) cannot lead prayers, actively promote prayers or be directly involved with students for prayers as that is an inappropriate use of U.S. Government funds.

        Spiffy, you may be trying to think of the Declaration of Independence which states…
        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

        You should, however, note that the Declaration of Independence is not the founding document for the U.S. It was just declaring that certain parties wanted to, and decided that they were going to try to be, independent from British Crown rule. The Declaration of Independence did not form anything. It did not define the states. It did not define the U.S. It did not define the U.S. Government.

        If you follow through the whole Continental Congress processes, it is relatively easily traceable that even though certain parties declared independence that the government that was being formed at the time had many, many possible paths. All but one of which were not taken in the final analysis.

        In fact the Declaration of Independence states “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States … and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” Indeed many people at the time still held that there should be 13 independent countries from the 13 colonies that were only associated as a loose confederation.

        Therefore the real “Founding Document” of the current United States is the U.S. Constitution which makes no mention of any deity at all or even any “Unalienable rights”.

        And finally, to drag this back to the article, there is nothing in Jonathan Ive’s statements I’ve read anywhere that explicitly states that he believes in “GOD”.

        1. Don’t bother Shadow, some folks won’t see it no matter how well you explain it.

          They ignore facts and details.

          And we all know that god is in the details. Oh, wait a minute…

      3. “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
        Treaty of Tripoli
        Treaty negotiated on the order of George Washington, signed by John Adams, approved by the Senate without opposition. The Senators were all founding fathers.

          1. “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”
            Negotiated on order of Washington
            Signed by John Adams
            Ratified by a Senate full of Revolutionary War veterans, members of the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention.

            Junior, I don’t know what lies your Preacher told you, but it doesn’t get any more plain than that.

            1. FSCK Jesus Christ and the fable he rode in on.

              christian lemming knows only what he church tells him to think. complete know-nothing-jesus-freak

              See what I did there idiot? I however refuse to use “Tard” might as well be the N word, bet you use that word too don’t you?

        1. Wrong Again. John Adams who on more than one occasion affirmed his belief in Jesus Christ wrote the Treaty in response to an on going situation. And so as to not escalate a “Holy War” he makes the distinction between the founding of the nation and the founding of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

          Nice try though. Go ahead give me all the quotes where Adams repudiates Christianity, I dare you.

          1. I didn’t say he repudiated Christianity- he did.

            Adams was a member of the Unitarian Church which denies the deity of Jesus Christ. Full Stop. Period.
            Unitarians do not accept the concept of a triune gawd, which makes them apostate by Catholics, all Protestant and all Evangelical Christians.

            He did sign the treaty and with no renunciation of the statement quoted recorded anywhere.

            1. progressiveagentprovocateur, it’s not a secret that John Adams was Unitarian. The argument here is that you believe he was ANTI-Christianity and he was NOT. Just because he doesn’t fall within the pale of historic Christian doctrine doesn’t prove anything. And further more, though in his personal writings he demonstrates disgust for the established churches, and I would agree with him, he greatly appreciated the kind of Christianity that it’s American adherents were trying to establish in the new country. And especially in reference to the conflict in Tripoly there was an active propaganda campaign to distinguish the American Church from it’s overwhelmingly poisoned institutionalized sister European Churches.

            2. Incidentally, I will admit to misspeaking in terms of John Adams belief in Jesus CHRIST. As a Unitarian he would not have used the term. I apologize for the confusion.

            3. He was a convert from Congregationalism to Unitarianism, a move from acceptance of the trinity to an active denial of it. That single fact places him completely outside the modern evangelical movement- full spectrum.

              To deny the divinity of Jesus Christ is to deny the central point of the entire New Testament- that he was the fulfillment of the prophecy of a messiah that goes to the book of Genesis.

              If Jesus is not divine he is a crackpot and a liar. If he is who he claimed to be he is god incarnate. Unitarians hold that he is not and John Adams as an adult chose to turn from the Congregational trinitarian doctrine and embrace Unitarianism.

              Those who currently invoke the claim that the US was founded upon the Christian faith are largely members of evangelical congregations or groups. My point is that this country was most definitely NOT founded upon the Christian faith as a significant number of early settlers in the colonies were refugees of religious persecution.

              My problem is not with people who hold to any faith or none at all. My problem is with revisionist people who would like nothing better than to make America a theocracy and try to teach that it was founded of, by and for, Christians.

            4. progressiveagentprovocateur you have my respect as someone who has formulated an informed view but I just cannot agree. The original founders (pilgrims) were not running FROM religion. They wanted to practice the purity of their religion without the imposition of an immoral King. The Mayflower Compact clearly states the purpose of the voyage is to further the Christian faith. No one with an informed perspective would even WANT a theocracy. I sure don’t. But the idea here is that anti-religionists want to insist that people of faith stay out of the market place of ideas and want to convince the general public that it’s always been that way by revising the religious intent set fourth by the originators of the country. Again I DON’T WANT a theocracy, I just don’t want Christian institutions, ideas, traditions and perspectives to be subverted because of a vocal minority.

              Finally in Regard to John Adams, I’m not arguing that he wouldn’t be regarded a heretic. I’m arguing that he was favorable to the American Church and the instituting of Christian values and ideas as fundamental to the success of the country. He always maintained his respect for the teaching of Jesus and even saw them as morally superior to all other faiths and esteemed the ethic and values as taught by the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

            5. Well that is a well argued fact cited and snarky comment by someone too chicken to register under a consistent name, “Jean”.

    1. It ain’t a good thing to say, for sure, and he more than probably meant ‘soulfulness’ or even ‘uniqueness’, but he most certainly meant to indicate that Apple does not design via committee, but indeed ‘creates’. It will be a very often misunderstood quote, I’m afraid.

  1. @auren, I had my eyes full of tears. I am a guy, and I am not an emotional person. But, the things Ive says, just touch you deep in the soul. As a person who grow up in the third world, the Mac brough my upto speed with technology. Apple Macs help you express yourself much more easier than any other computers.
    It really opened the way for me. I think Apple’s Macs played a big role in me becoming a scientist.

  2. Apple’s adaptation of Hartmut Esslinger’s Frog Design in the early 80s was transformed into a design language — The Snow White design language. It resonated deeply with so many of us, still continues to do so. From their Macs to LaserWriters to even their Scanners, they were all distinctly and indelibly Apple.

    Today’s “i” designs are hip, popular and therefore wildly successful. They may even have similar intimate connection with their users. But what they are not is a cohesive design language.

    If I were to use a software analogy on a hardware design, these would have been great individual OSs but not a platform.

    I remain unconvinced by Mr. Ive’s design aesthetics. I know I’m in the minority, and not in a good way, with opinions like these.

    1. An interesting take. And not one without merit. In my opinion Ive’s design work goes deeper. Esslinger designed a “look” for the external packaging of the hardware. And he did a very good job of it. Ive has been far more involved in the original form that the hardware takes. I sense a tighter integration with engineering of the products; form following function.

    2. What you forget is that hardware needs to take account of PHYSICS. The material is not infinitely durable or malleable, nor is it both “friendly” and “unfriendly” to radio waves. The battery is not infinitely small and infinitely sustainable. The screen is not infinitely true to real life. Heat is a big issue. Physical issues that SW never has to even think about. With new technologies, possibly L-Metal might a good beginning, we will see universal designs like the design of the last terminator that was built from some strange liquid material that could transform into anything. But that’s a long way off. SW, on the other hand has infinite memory, and near infinite everything else it needs.

    3. Of course they’re not a ‘cohesive design language’, because each range of Apple products carries its own unique properties which in turn requires a different design answer and aesthetic; an iMac is a tabletop computer, and it’s design reflects that, whereas an iPod is a music player that is carried in a pocket, and again has its own specific issues that require unique design attributes. However, all Apple products lumped together have a style language that easily identifies them as coming from Apple, something that is easy to see, if not easy to describe in simple terms.

      1. She represents my nation, and I mind, shithead. I guess you’re probably American, so how about I come to your country, take a dump outside your door, and wipe my ass in your nation’s flag?

        1. Burn it after you wipe, real freedom dictates you have that option. Unlike these chicken hawk neo-fascists, I wore it into battle and understand what freedom means.

          She doesn’t represent your “nation” she leaches off it, “royal” my ass. “Ordained by god”, superior to other humans? I don’t think so..

      2. In the UK, it’s a knighthood; in the USA, it’s the Medal of Freedom. They’re both honors given by a government grateful for the efforts of a person, efforts which have been of benefit to the citizens of that country. Frankly, it’s people like you who give Americans a bad name elsewhere in the world. I have no use for a monarch in the USA, either, but it’s how they do things in the UK. You don’t have to agree with someone to respect their point of view, and commenting as you did only goes to show your (possibly irredeemable) lack of maturity. Your parents must have not been very good at raising children.

  3. Wow, there’s a lot of love in the room today.

    (btw I don’t do sarcasm, because I’m not very good at it)

    It never ceases to amaze me that we as an MDN community can take something positive, apolitical and non-denominational and turn it into arguments about politics and religion.

  4. I think godlessness is rather good. It’s the culmination of progress – from lots of spirits and gods to a few; then one; then none. It’s called growing-up.

    1. Gawdlessness is like opening your eyes- it’s a wonderful thing.

      BTW- All you Evangelicals should take note:
      Steven Paul Jobs rejected the christian faith and died rejecting it.

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