Sir Jonathan Ive “is now one of the two most powerful people in the world’s most valuable company,” Ian Parker writes for The New Yorker. “He sometimes listens to CNBC Radio on his hour-long commute from San Francisco to Apple’s offices, in Silicon Valley, but he’s uncomfortable knowing that a hundred thousand Apple employees rely on his decision-making—his taste—and that a sudden announcement of his retirement would ambush Apple shareholders.”
“According to Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow, who is close to Ive and his family, ‘Jony’s an artist with an artist’s temperament, and he’d be the first to tell you artists aren’t supposed to be responsible for this kind of thing,'” Parker writes. “‘I’ve seen Jony deeply frustrated, but I’ve never seen him rant and rave,’ Laurene Powell Jobs said, and she added, laughing, that she would not have said the same of her husband. (And it’s hard to imagine Ive using a disabled-parking spot, as Jobs often did, long before he was unwell.) Ive likes to be liked; the story seemed to be a preëmptive defense of Jobs veiled as self-criticism. It was also an indirect response to Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Jobs, which, though not hostile, included examples of unkindness. In a later conversation, Ive said that he’d read only parts of the book, but had seen enough to dislike it, for what he called inaccuracies. ‘My regard couldn’t be any lower,’ he said, with unusual heat.”
“One morning at Apple’s headquarters, a few weeks earlier, Ive recalled how, in 1997, the company seemed to be dying around him,” Parker writes. “‘Every story you’d read, every morning before coming to work, started with the phrase ‘The beleaguered computer maker, Apple,” he said. Ive was then thirty; after five years at the company, he had become its head of industrial design.”
“He and Newson are car guys, and they feel disappointed with most modern cars; each summer, they attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where vintage sports cars are exhibited and raced in the South of England,” Parker writes. “‘There are some shocking cars on the road,’ Ive said. ‘One person’s car is another person’s scenery.’ To his right was a silver sedan with a jutting lower lip. Ive said, quietly, ‘For example.”’ As the disgraced car fell behind, I asked Ive to critique its design: “’It is baffling, isn’t it? It’s just nothing, isn’t it? It’s just insipid.’ He declined to name the model, muttering, ]I don’t know, I don’t want to offend.’ (Toyota Echo.)”
Tons heaped upon tons more in the full article – highly recommended – here.
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