Apple employees anxious

Curie Kim for Blind’s Work Talk Blog:

Apple’s chief design officer, Jony Ive announced that he was leaving Apple to start his own design firm, Lovefirm… We wanted to ask verified Apple employees what they really think about Ive’s departure and how impactful they think it would be for their company.

Key Points:

• Just 51% of Apple employees believe that Ive’s departure will result in no change.

• The other half believe that there will be an impact, and more Apple employees believe that there will be negative impact due to the departure.

• More than 77% of Apple employees are hopeful that Apple will remain as a tech design leader.

• Over 90% of those who stated that Apple would have ‘positive impact’ or ‘no change’ stated the company would remain as a tech product design leader.

For those who stated the departure would have a negative impact, only 32% stated that Apple could remain as a tech product design leader.

Attribution: Philip Elmer-DeWitt’s Apple 3.0

MacDailyNews Take: Given Jony’s state of mind and his autonomous position with Apple, his departure is a net positive for the company.

This is not to diminish his immensely positive overall contribution to the company overall, but, from our trusted sources, he’d become a liability in recent years, basically due to being “not fully engaged.”

19 Comments

  1. Things hadn’t been quite the same since Wyatt died. Most of the old posse had died, been killed, or moved on. Doc Holiday was still around but, he was beginning to show his age, and a general lack of interest in law man work. He, like Wyatt was after all, an outlaw at heart.

    Some of the boys, and girls, and undefined, began to complain about Holiday. Word got round to Ringo, the leader since Wyatt died, that Holiday was… a liability.

    Everyone knew what had to happen. They say that even priests have to settle up now and again, and we were gun fighters. Anything but priests. So it came as no shock when Ringo asked to see Holiday, around noon, the following Tuesday. Holiday replied, “I’m your huckleberry.”

    The two men often met on the street, just not in the middle of it. This wasn’t a budget meeting though. This was a settling of accounts. One of them would not be coming back to the newly constructed Dodge campus.

    Ringo stared down Holiday and said, “You’re a lookin a bit tired there, Doc.” Holiday met his stare, tilted his head a bit and squinted as if he was seeing Ringo for the first time. He slowly swept his black duster around to the rear right revealing his specially designed al-loo-mi-nium pistol. “I’m here, I’m your Huckleberry.” Ringo seemed a bit taken aback at how disinterested Holiday seemed with the entire situation.

    There was a moment more of silence and Ringo said, “Awrite, Awrite, maker, let’s end this” and with that Ringo drew his own pearl handled black revolver but Holiday’s gun was already in the air, and firing. Holiday’s bullet struck Ringo in the gun hand, the pearl went flying backwards, Ringo grabbed his wrist and just like that it was over.

    Holiday walked toward Ringo. “Didn’t have to be this way,” he said, reloading the missing cartridge into his revolver. “I’m just gonna take my cut of the pay and be on my way.” He turned and walked away from Ringo then turned back to him and said, “If you need me I’ll be in a little town called LoveFirm.” “Love what?” said Ringo. “LoveFirm. Or was that LoveFrom or WithLoveFrom or, wait, I think one of the undecided wanted to call it FirmLove. I get confused these days. So many passwords.”

  2. Jony made beautiful hardware, although there are some irritating cases of fostering form over function. Consider the Apple TV remote and the Apple mouse, both of which feel the same when held correctly as when held backward. That would have been extremely easy to fix, but Jony’s peculiar design sense wouldn’t have it.

    I think he absolutely made an abomination of Apple’s gold standard software visual design though. The latest visual design language is pretty and simple, granted, but it isn’t designed for humans. The whole concept of affordances, whereby UI elements tell you at a glance how they can be used, has been scrapped in favor of flat plainness. Much of the subtle cueing about a control’s status has been tossed aside.

    I am hopeful that fresh design blood at Apple will help it regain its stance as the world’s best software design house, and the flow of great designers from Apple to Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, and even Huawei will be reversed.

  3. This is kinda like how Pininfarina no longer designs vehicles for Ferrari and their designs are done in-house. However, Ferrari still has beautifully-designed cars and the Ferrari marque still goes on as strong as ever without the Pininfarina badge I don’t quite remember the automotive world crying about how Ferrari was surely going out of business when they stopped using Pininfarina. Maybe some people did, but I just don’t recall anything like that. I would naturally call stuff like the death of Ferrari because they dropped a designer firm pretty stupid, but maybe I’m the one who’s stupid. I still like the way Ferraris look although it is said the recent models do have Pininfarina influence but I’m not a designer so, what do I know. I’d be happy to own any of the recent Ferraris based on how they look.

    It’s just that so many people think how Apple is suddenly going to be suddenly selling products that look like cardboard boxes because Jony Ive is leaving. C’mon, that’s just ridiculous. Jony Ive isn’t the only designer in the world who can design an attractive computer product. I personally don’t care if Apple products get a bit thicker (/s). Let’s just see what happens before chewing fingernails. Oh, well, this is Apple and anything that changes at Apple is always assumed to be for the worse. Anyway, I’m more interested in the inner guts of devices than the exterior, so Ive’s leaving doesn’t really upset me at all.

  4. Of course I have no inside knowledge but maybe he wasn’t bored or out of ideas. Maybe he found himself alone in a cage at the top of a mega corporation that went from focusing on ‘insanely great ideas’ to just being insane. Maybe he was tired of dead ends and road blocks imposed by a leadership culture that doesn’t understand design and lacks any vision not focused on the pretense of social justice. Maybe he read the writing on the wall, realizing cook was tone deaf to the melodies of form and function. Can you imagine being the lead musician of a once great orchestra and the new conducto’s main concern is diversity of messaging at the t-shirt merch table.

    If Jonathan is bored and out of ideas then why is he starting a new company. Why would he leave the most powerful and influential design platform in the world. My guess is he knows something we don’t. But what we seemingly do know is Apple leadership culture is somewhat fake; they continue to envoke the language, image and mythology of Jobs but the real company mission has long ago parted ways with the path Steve was on.

    Hopefully I’m wrong and the legacy of Apple as a true leader of innovation will continue. When Cook hands over the rains of Apple he must decide if the future of Apple will primarily be one of innovation and design or social influence. Maybe Jonathan was Apple last hope to return a real designer to leadership at Apple.

    A leader will lead what he truly believes.

  5. I’m surprised nobody has commented on the headline. The body of the article makes it clear that most Apple employees are not anxious. 77% of them either do not think Ive’s departure will matter or see it as positive.

    1. “77% of them either do not think Ive’s departure will matter or see it as positive.”

      Right. 77% do not see it as positive as it should be. Cook screwed the pooch when it comes to design and we shall see the negative consequences in years to come as profits take center stage over design innovation…

    2. You have deliberately misread the article. 51% said Ive’s departure won’t matter and another 26% say it will be positive, for a total of 77%. Of the remaining 23%, almost two-thirds said it would not affect Apple’s position as a leader in design. That leaves about 7% of Apple employees who share your opinion that this is a disaster. Most companies have at least that many disgruntled employees at any given time. It hardly constitutes proof that a significant proportion of Apple employees are anxious about the future of Apple design post-Ive.

      1. Read it again: “77% of them either do not think Ive’s departure will matter or see it as positive.”

        Saying it doesn’t matter is NOT saying it is “positive” so the 77% is correct. That was your first mistake misreading the quote and putting your fanboy spin where it doesn’t apply.

        Your second mistake and I quote, “That leaves about 7% of Apple employees who share your opinion that this is a disaster.”

        I NEVER rendered an OPINION and “you have deliberately misread” my post and passed judgement that is FALSE… 🙈🙉🙊

        1. Your innumeracy is rivaled only by your illiteracy. My point—yet again—was that over 90% of Apple employees are not “anxious” about Ive’s departure, as the headline claims. Your disagreement with that illustrates my first sentence above.

          1. Is that right.

            You did not address my point regarding putting words in my mouth:

            “That leaves about 7% of Apple employees who share your opinion that this is a disaster.”

            For the second time, I never rendered an OPINION, you put words in my mouth and selectively ignored your mistake in your reply. Not a surprise. Like most Democrats, when you screw up don’t admit it (horror), ignore it (ego), and move on to do it again (stupid).

            Moving on to your post rebuttal.

            Key Points from the article:
            “Just 51% of Apple employees believe that Ive’s departure will result in no change.” Translation for the statistically challenged: Half expect no change in hopes status quo will prevail.

            “The other half believe that there will be an impact, and more Apple employees believe that there will be negative impact due to the departure.” Translation for the statistically challenged: HALF BELIEVE A “NEGATIVE IMPACT.” Yes, the folks that can deal with change move on.

            “More than 77% of Apple employees are hopeful that Apple will remain as a tech design leader.” Translation for the statistically challenged: “Hopeful” is a WISH, not to be confused with REALITY.

            “Over 90% of those who stated that Apple would have ‘positive impact’ or ‘no change’ stated the company would remain as a tech product design leader.” Translation for statistically challenged USER: That 90% is and pay very close attention, commenting on the 51%, who believe in “no change” and maintain the status quo.

            To quote you, “My point—yet again—was that over 90% of Apple employees are not “anxious” about Ive’s departure, as the headline claims.“

            TOTALLY FALSE CONFLATION. See above.

            Last point from the article: “For those who stated the departure would have a negative impact, only 32% stated that Apple could remain as a tech product design leader.” Translation for the statistically challenged. That would be 32% of the 49% that hold a negative view. Only a third of support.

            Another example of reading percentages we need to understand. Let’s say 50% of the American population are registered to vote. Of the 50% during midterm elections only 10-20% of registered voters turnout to vote.

            Of the 10-20% that voted the media is not concerned with the first two hypotheticals. The brain dead media do what they always do, what was the winning and losing percentage in the political horse race.

            Sad, they are dumbing down America and you are a partisan contributor, USER…

  6. “I think he absolutely made an abomination of Apple’s gold standard software visual design though. The latest visual design language is pretty and simple, granted, but it isn’t designed for humans. The whole concept of affordances, whereby UI elements tell you at a glance how they can be used, has been scrapped in favor of flat plainness.”

    Well said.

    I will add flat confusing plainness. Abstract icons by definition are esoteric and seriously impede understandable navigation visual design.

    The irony here is the emojis are 100% skeuomorphic and CONFLICT with iOS abstract design. The two do not go together.

    Forstall worked closely with Steve to develop the visual richness of iOS from the very beginning and later no respect Cook threw Scott under the bus and made Ive the visual leader.

    Epic MISTAKE on several levels. Scott was Steve’s heir apparent CEO in the press and talented qualifications make Cook look like another sugar water salesman.

    Cook and Ive won the opening round after Steve passed and now Cook lost Ive as a dispirited former employee. Frankly, the way Cook kicked design talent to the curb in favor of the almighty dollar it is just a matter of time before Apple falls into yet another beancounter mediocre company…

  7. Nobody’s talking about Angela’s departure in light of this. I think that’s because we we’re all glad she left, frankly. But I wonder if her departure and now Ive’s are related… I always thought they were buddy buddy with each other and that Ive likely welcomed her as being, at least somewhat more, woven from the same cloth. I mean she was probably the only other higher exec who probably maybe got the whole design thing and sort of understood how his mind worked. I know. I know. I’m going to get blasted, but I’m being serious and to be clear, it is only an impression. I have zero evidence. Just a thought… What do you think?

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