The greatest business story of this generation is a design tale: Apple’s Jony Ive

“Precious few designers have left Sir Jonathan Ive’s industrial design group since he took over in 1996: Two quit; three died. (We talked to the two who quit, among dozens of other longtime Apple veterans.) What we found is that the greatest business story of the past two decades–how Apple used design to rise from near bankruptcy to become the most valuable company in the world–is completely misunderstood,” Fast Company reports.

“Outsiders have tended to assume that because longtime CEO Steve Jobs was a champion of products in which hardware and software work together seamlessly, Apple itself was a paragon of collaboration. In fact, the opposite was often true,” Fast Company reports. “What’s more, the myth of Jobs’s exile in 1985 and restoration in 1997 has obscured the fact that much of the critical design work that led to Apple’s resurgence started while Jobs was running Pixar and NeXT. Ive–of whom Jobs once said, “He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me”–joined the company in 1992. And since Ive added software to his domain, in 2012, the industrial designer has even more power now.”

Fast Company reports, “Neither Ive, nor anyone else at Apple, was willing to speak on the record for this article. As a result, this story is different from any other you’ve read about Apple. It is an oral history of Apple’s design, a decoding of the signature as told by the people who helped create it. Its roots go back to the 1980s, when Jobs’s metaphor that the computer is a “bicycle for the mind” became a touchstone for design at Apple, an expression of the ambition to turn high tech into simple and accessible devices. In the immediate aftermath of Jobs’s 1985 ouster, Apple had some commercial success, thanks in part to the work of Hartmut Esslinger’s Frog Design (now Frog). But Esslinger followed Jobs to NeXT in the late 1980s, and as the 1990s wore on, Apple struggled as a me-too PC maker, and its market share plummeted. Our creative conversation starts in those dark days, when a hardy few trying to hold onto Jobs’s ideals are heartened by the arrival of a soft-spoken, young industrial designer from the United Kingdom.”

Much more in the full article here.

22 Comments

  1. I think anybody who understands Apple already knows that Steve Jobs was smart enough to KEEP Sir Ives. Steve was the ultimate user (and a very good CEO). Ives built stuff Steve wanted to use. $$$$ followed, not hard to figure out.

  2. What a huge journalistic shovel, and we all know what it carries: “Fast Company reports, “Neither Ive, nor anyone else at Apple, was willing to speak on the record for this article. As a result, this story is different from any other you’ve read about Apple.”

    Actually the opposite, neither Ive nor anyone else at Apple is willing to speak on the record for nearly every article rumor and speculative bullshit commentary that you and your moronic journanalists spew out consistently.

    This attitude of inflating your ego with an “ooooh read my important article cause it will be so different and so much better than any other article you’ve read about Apple” is typical of the deep deep deep quagmire journalism now finds it stuck in.

    So Fast Company, you are being called out. Unless you have a pile od direct reports from Apple or Ive on article from Dvorak, Enderlere or Zune Thang to substantiate your claim, you are nothing more than another group of pathetic lying journanal wannabes that left integrity on the wayside a long time ago, that is if you ever had it.

      1. Thanks for you comment Heard Instinct.

        Yes, I read the article I tend to read all the articles, especially the ones I post about.
        It is interesting to a degree but it’s a bunch of snippets, like puzzle pieces tossed on the table.
        Much assembly required.

      1. You mean MDN deleted a BLN post? About time, they should delete all of that looney’s posts. He has to post on every single article. And more than once on most. Never says anything constructive, just obscenities and nonsense.I try to skip over his vile posts but hard to miss them all.

        1. You are totally off the mark, but I respect your opinion.

          BLN, please allow me — BLN CARES ABOUT APPLE. He is NOT a BLIND FANBOY.

          His constructive arguments are more spot on than your dissing of his efforts, IMHO. That is a good thing …

          1. Exactly…I think he gets under people’s skin around here because he makes legit points that they can’t counter, which is why they hurl the personal insults…typical insecure behavior

        2. I understand where you’re coming from, Joe, but I must point out that BLN has had some outstanding and informative posts.

          As Princess Leia said to Han Solo, “You have your moments. Not many of them, but you do have them.”

  3. “The greatest business story of this generation is a design tale: Apple’s Jony Ive.”

    Correct if we are talking hardware design. Software design like the anemic, flat, girly pastels of iOS7 is an absolute disgrace.

    Sorry fanboys and fangirls, iOS7 is a step back to 1930s icon design, nothing new and nothing inspiring. Pass the Kool-aid and you’ll feel better …

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