“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.'”