Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products
“Different and new is relatively easy. Doing something that’s genuinely better is very hard.” —Jony Ive
In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO with the unenviable task of turning around the company he had founded. One night, Jobs discovered a scruffy British designer toiling away at Apple’s corporate headquarters, surrounded by hundreds of sketches and prototypes. It was then that Jobs realized he had found a talent who could reverse the company’s long decline.
That young designer was Jony Ive.
Jony Ive’s collaboration with Jobs would produce some of the world’s most iconic technology products, including the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. The designs have not only made Apple a hugely valuable company, they’ve overturned entire industries, built a loyal fan base, and created a globally powerful brand. Along the way, Jony Ive has become the world’s leading technology innovator, won countless design awards, earned a place on the 2013 Time 100 list, and was even knighted for his “services to design and enterprise.”
Yet despite his triumphs, little is known about the shy and soft-spoken whiz whom Jobs referred to as his “spiritual partner” at Apple. Jony Ive reveals the true story of Apple’s real innovator-in-chief.
Leander Kahney, the bestselling author of Inside Steve’s Brain, offers a detailed portrait of a creative genius. He shows us how Jony Ive went from an English art school student with dyslexia to the man whose immense insights have altered the pattern of our lives. From his early interest in industrial design, fostered by his designer father, through his education at Newcastle Polytechnic and meteoric rise at Apple, we discover the principles and practices that he developed to become the designer of his generation.
Based on interviews with Jony Ive’s former colleagues and Kahney’s own familiarity with the world of Apple, this book gives insight into how Jony Ive (now senior vice president of design) has redefined the ways in which we work, entertain, and communicate with one another.
navigation computer that showed maps and local landmarks on a black-and-white screen. Another was a chunky wristwatch computer the size of a cantaloupe. “They were concepts, not real products,” said Brunner. “They started to get attention. It was totally recruiting. No other reason. They were sketchy, information appliance models. A little bit tongue in cheek, but it served its purpose.”7 • • • Over time, Brunner recruited a team of talented designers, some of whom would remain
When Jobs finally took a tour of Apple’s design studio, he was bowled over by the creativity and rigor he saw. The studio was full of eye-catching mock-ups that the previous regime had been too timid to consider. Jobs also couldn’t help but notice the computer numerical control (CNC) milling machines and a fledgling computer-aided design (CAD) group. Mostly, though, he bonded with the soft-spoken Jony, who would later say that he and Jobs saw eye to eye immediately. “We discussed approaches
the clamp was loosened, it put slack on the cables and allowed the spine to be moved. “The display floated so that you had to grab it with two hands to release the lock, and then when you positioned it, it locked in place. It had a series of these beautiful balls and sockets, and the power and signal cables went through the neck,” said Satzger. “When you released everything it would relax, and when you tightened it, it would lock with a big cam mechanism.” The team made scores of prototypes,
around the midpoint of its body, a centered display on the front face, a menu button centered below the screen and a speaker slot centered above the screen. Jony and his team preferred the Extrudo look and gave it the most attention. They tried cases that were extruded along the x-axis, and some along the y-axis. But problems surfaced immediately. Extrudo’s hard edges hurt the designers’ faces when they put it up to their ears. Jobs especially hated this. To make the hard edges softer,
for all to buy in to. I’m sure that half of Jony’s battles will be in winning over the hearts and minds of the software folks.”17 Jony’s appointment to software came at a crucial time. Apple’s competitors are catching up, as the Android continues to mature and attract the kind of user who likes more control and more choices. Microsoft’s Windows 8 won plaudits for its clean, ambitious touch interface. “This is a defining moment, where hardware fulfills its promise and simply gets out of the