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Steve Jobs left designer Jony Ive more power than anyone at Apple

post #1 of 103
Thread Starter 
Apple's widely praised design chief Jonathan Ive has no true boss who can tell him what to do at the company, a distinction put in place by Steve Jobs himself.

Information from the new biography of Jobs, set to arrive next week, continues to arrive, offering a glimpse into the highly private life of the Apple co-founder. The Associated Press obtained an early copy of the book, and shared some details on the relationship between Jobs and Ive, Apple's senior vice president of industrial design.

In talking with author Walter Isaacson for the book, Jobs revealed that he viewed Ive as his "spiritual partner" at Apple. Showing his trust in Ive, the company co-founder left him more freedom than anyone else in the company -- a perk that remains even after Jobs's death.

"He told Isaacson that Ive had 'more operational power' at Apple than anyone else besides Jobs himself -- that there's no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do," the report said. "That, says Jobs, is 'the way I set it up.'"

Ive and Jobs became close at Apple, working directly together on designing a number of the company's core products, including the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Ive, a 44-year-old native of London, joined Apple in 1996 and has held his current job since 1997.

Showcasing their extensive work together, Jobs and Ive share credit for inventing over 200 patents. Jobs is responsible for the most total patents at the company, at 313.

A 2006 profile of Ive said that at the time he and his team worked in a large, secretive open studio that many Apple employees were not allowed to enter. There a "massive sound system" played music as he and his team worked with state-of-the-art prototyping equipment with "intense iteration."

Apple design chief Jonathan Ive somewhere in Apple's design studio | Source: Objectified

Ive has been heralded as one of the most influential designers of his time, and legendary Braun designer Dieter Rams publicly praised him in the 2009 documentary Objectified. In return for his design work at Apple, Ive has been well compensated, and is said to be worth more than $128 million.

In 2009, Ive was declared the "smartest designer" in technology by Forbes. He was also honored with the title "Designer of the Year" in 2003 by Design Museum London, and was named "Royal Designer for Industry" by The Royal Society of Arts.

More details on the relationship between Ive and Jobs will be available in Isaacson's book, arriving next week. Entitled "Steve Jobs," will be available in a hardcover edition, as well as digitally through Amazon Kindle and Apple's iBooks.
post #2 of 103
Someone else might be more accurate, but I thought those were protyping fab units behind him in the picture, probably the most innocuous background they could find in the studio, given the kind of intensely iterative development that Jony and others have described as going on in the studio.
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #3 of 103
That's probably a good thing.
post #4 of 103
More so than anyone else now at Apple, I really believe it will be him that will see the company forward.
post #5 of 103
Jony Ive is an absolute legend. The design that he and Steve assembled do amazing work, long may this continue!
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #6 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

That's probably a good thing.

Agreed. Not being weighed down by bureaucratic nonsense and corporate expectation will certainly help him be a lot more creative and ground-breaking in his designs.
post #7 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

Someone else might be more accurate, but I thought those were protyping fab units behind him in the picture, probably the most innocuous background they could find in the studio, given the kind of intensely iterative development that Jony and others have described as going on in the studio.

Yes, prototypes are made there. All design and testing first before moving out for mass stamping.
post #8 of 103
Probably the best arrangement for Ivy and Apple. Can you imagine an accountant telling Ivy how to design? Steve had a bro-mance with Jon, that's nice.
post #9 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

Probably the best arrangement for Ivy and Apple. Can you imagine an accountant telling Ivy how to design? Steve had a bro-mance with Jon, that's nice.

The article is a tad inaccurate because Ive likely did have to answer to Steve and now Tim, but it is still very powerful to not have to answer to anyone below the CEO. Ive makes the designs and the COO etc do what is needed to make them happen cost etc wise. Ive more than anyone is probably well trained in the way that Steve thought about products so yes he'll likely be the one to carry on "The Steve Way"

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #10 of 103
While I hope he continues to work his magic on us, unless he owns Apple he can be told what to do by the board of directors.
post #11 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

While I hope he continues to work his magic on us, unless he owns Apple he can be told what to do by the board of directors.

And the last time the Apple Board told the Innovator what to do, it killed the company.

You seriously believe they haven't learned from that?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #12 of 103
I guess we're never going to get rid of the all glass phone.
post #13 of 103
I don't know much about Ive, but everything I've ever read about him suggests that he is an unassuming, almost shy, personality that is unlikely to let the power go to his head. He seems the type that loves what he does to the extent that he doesn't really know he is working, and is therefore very likely continue along the trajectory he has established - very good news for those of us who love beautiful and minimalistic Apple products!
post #14 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Yes, prototypes are made there. All design and testing first before moving out for mass stamping.

Except that Apple doesn't do much stamping. Most equipment is mass produced on prototyping equipment. They are the first (and probably only) company to do this at this scale.
post #15 of 103
Just more proof that Apple's future was well planed. Thing like this are a testament to how much Steve loved Apple, it takes a lot to think past your roll in a company when you are such an important part of it. This is why Apple will for years to come be a leader in design and innovation, and why I love being an Apple fan.
post #16 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obama View Post

I guess we're never going to get rid of the all glass phone.

The glass back on the iphone 4 is a poor design and an example of form over function. It is slippery on any surface ( other than the hand). And simply put, it breaks.

Kind of ironic that all the people that talk ill of plastic phones end up putting plastic bumpers and cases on their ip4's.
post #17 of 103
"... Jobs and Ive share credit for inventing over 200 patents"

You don't invent patents. You patent inventions.

Back to the story...
post #18 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post

The glass back on the iphone 4 is a poor design and an example of form over function. It is slippery on any surface ( other than the hand). And simply put, it breaks.

Kind of ironic that all the people that talk ill of plastic phones end up putting plastic bumpers and cases on their ip4's.

I personally have no issue with plastic phones, as long as the plastics used are of high quality. While I think the original iPhone was the best combination of beauty and durability, and the iPhone 4/4S is the most beautiful, the iPhone 3G/3GS probably, ironically, was the most durable when it came to drops and accidents. The metal of the original iPhone would get dented pretty bad when dropped, and the iPhone 4/4S, well, simply shatters, my 3GS took an unfortunate trip down a flight of stairs on its own and came out of it with one fairly noticeable nick on the corner, but otherwise was perfect.
post #19 of 103
Thank god. The products this man designed at Apple are simply amazing. I would definitely hope he still has a lot of say of what my next laptop looks like
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TalkAndroid anyone?
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post #20 of 103
I look forward to reading the book. I ordered my digital copy on iBooks today.
post #21 of 103
For me the question is, when they've produced a dud (and they will at some point) who will have the power like Jobs did to put the breaks on and stop release, regardless of cost impact.

I hope Ive has that power.
post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I personally have no issue with plastic phones, as long as the plastics used are of high quality. While I think the original iPhone was the best combination of beauty and durability, and the iPhone 4/4S is the most beautiful, the iPhone 3G/3GS probably, ironically, was the most durable when it came to drops and accidents. The metal of the original iPhone would get dented pretty bad when dropped, and the iPhone 4/4S, well, simply shatters, my 3GS took an unfortunate trip down a flight of stairs on its own and came out of it with one fairly noticeable nick on the corner, but otherwise was perfect.

Most people I know who owned a 3GS ended up getting cracks in the plastic, right around the dock connector. Mine would also creak if I squeezed it.

Ironically, my "fragile" iPhone 4, which has seen its share of abuse, held up far better.

Goes to show you, each fall is different. A slightly different angle can mean the difference between a scratch and shatter.
post #23 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

For me the question is, when they've produced a dud (and they will at some point) who will have the power like Jobs did to put the breaks on and stop release, regardless of cost impact.

It'll have to be one person; you're right.

And likely it'll be Ive, Forstall, or even Cook.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #24 of 103
$128 million seems low given how much he has contributed to Apple's success.
post #25 of 103
It isn't easy to criticize Apple's designs when they are as commercially successful as they are.

But commercial success does not equate to objective superiority. Particularly when commercial success is dictated more by form than by function.

The debate will rage over whether Apple's products have lost sight of functionality, and whether functionality has been pushed so far to the back, in deference to form, that Apple's products are significantly flawed as a consequence.

The most definitive example of this, from my perspective at least, is the present batch of keyboards that Apple makes. When the aluminum slab keyboards first arrived I was attracted by the clean design and bought one to use with my MacBook Pro. I kept it for a couple of weeks, at which point it was obvious to me that I would never adapt to it. From a functional standpoint, it is just a lousy keyboard. The stroke is much too short, the tactile sensation is lousy, and the upper surface of the keys is practically a smooth plane. There isn't even any scallop on the tops of the keys. By any objective standards, they are decidedly lousy keyboards. The idea that when you buy a new computer from the world's premiere personal computer company that you have to go searching for a keyboard that you can stand to use is just not right. But this is how it is, and it has been this way for several years now, and there is no indication that Apple is going to return to making functional keyboards. There is no option, i.e., no personal choice. The only keyboards that Apple makes are the ones that Jobs and Ive liked and decided that people who use Apple computers should use. Why couldn't they do that and still make functional keyboards as an option for people who don't care about slick and sexy but who care about the functional quality of the keyboard? What is so wrong with letting individuals have it their way, as opposed to everyone having it the Jobs way?

A few years ago when a new generation of MacBook Pro was introduced, people who preferred non-reflective screens for functional reasons were at first denied the ability to buy them that way. Of course that eventually was corrected, but why was it that way in the first place?

Many people like the Apple mice, but there are lots of people who can't don't like them at all. Why can't Apple make and offer a more conventional mouse for people who prefer that sort of mouse, thereby sparing people from having to pay for an expensive mouse that they don't like and then having to go immediately to another store to buy an inexpensive mouse that they like?

The question remains: Will Apple ever resume production of fully functional keyboards where every consideration of functionality has not been tossed aside in favor of form?
post #26 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

That's probably a good thing.

I think it's a great thing. There's a great team in place there, but of them all, Jony's the one with the vision that Steve had. It's his vision that will keep Apple making great products that people fall in love with. Scott's work on the software is great, too, but it's the hardware designs that draw people in first. I hope Jony's well compensated and stays at Apple until he retires!
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

I don't know much about Ive, but everything I've ever read about him suggests that he is an unassuming, almost shy, personality that is unlikely to let the power go to his head. He seems the type that loves what he does to the extent that he doesn't really know he is working, and is therefore very likely continue along the trajectory he has established - very good news for those of us who love beautiful and minimalistic Apple products!

Ive doing fantastic design work for Steve Jobs, and not trying to run the company, reminded me of this interview with Woz, who did the fantastic engineering work that is the whole basis of Apple:

http://realdanlyons.com/blog/2011/10...tion-with-woz/

Yes, I know, it's an article by THAT Dan Lyons, aka Fake Steve, who actually hated Jobs. But it's a great interview.

Woz had no great ambition except to be seen as the very best at his kind of engineering. Jobs made that happen for him, and what more could he ask?
post #28 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

I personally have no issue with plastic phones, as long as the plastics used are of high quality. While I think the original iPhone was the best combination of beauty and durability, and the iPhone 4/4S is the most beautiful, the iPhone 3G/3GS probably, ironically, was the most durable when it came to drops and accidents. The metal of the original iPhone would get dented pretty bad when dropped, and the iPhone 4/4S, well, simply shatters, my 3GS took an unfortunate trip down a flight of stairs on its own and came out of it with one fairly noticeable nick on the corner, but otherwise was perfect.

I'm going to reveal my shallow side and state that I would not have upgraded my original iphone if the 4 was not released in the form factor it has. I was really disappointed in the plastic backing of the 3G/S. Also, I loathe cases and have never used them. I fully admit though that I am OCD and go to great lengths to make sure the phone doesn't get damaged so even though I might not have problems with a glass phone, many people would.
2010 mac mini/iPad OG/iPhone 4/appletv OG/appletv 2/ BT trackpad and keyboard/time capsule/ Wii
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2010 mac mini/iPad OG/iPhone 4/appletv OG/appletv 2/ BT trackpad and keyboard/time capsule/ Wii
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post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's widely praised design chief Jonathan Ive has no true boss who can tell him what to do at the company, a distinction put in place by Steve Jobs himself.

Isn't that true of all department heads in big organizations? They answer only to the CEO?

Who did Cook answer to when Jobs was CEO?

Isn't there, for example, a CTO at Apple who answers only to the CEO? Who's the guy in charge of iOS development, for example? Who does he answer to? Beside the CEO?
post #30 of 103
A wise decision on Steve Job's part.
post #31 of 103
One of the main reasons I'm not concerned about Apple without jobs is Ive's
post #32 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by obi-wan kubrick View Post

one of the main reasons i'm not concerned about apple without jobs is ive's

the suspense is killing me.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post

The glass back on the iphone 4 is a poor design and an example of form over function. It is slippery on any surface ( other than the hand). And simply put, it breaks.

Kind of ironic that all the people that talk ill of plastic phones end up putting plastic bumpers and cases on their ip4's.

Not really - the rubber type cases don't scratch - but would lack rigidity - thats why they are a cover. The hard plastic - sure it protects the glass, and yes it gets scratched - and is SO EASILY REPLACED.

I don't use any covers on 4S, Pad2, they are thin, and i don't want to fatten them up
post #34 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

The article is a tad inaccurate because Ive likely did have to answer to Steve and now Tim, but it is still very powerful to not have to answer to anyone below the CEO. Ive makes the designs and the COO etc do what is needed to make them happen cost etc wise. Ive more than anyone is probably well trained in the way that Steve thought about products so yes he'll likely be the one to carry on "The Steve Way"

Don't forget that Tim Cook has a degree in industrial engineering. He isn't just a bean counter.
post #35 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

... Can you imagine an accountant telling Ivy how to design? ...

This is done all the time in the industry.

It's called "The Microsoft Way."
post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post

The glass back on the iphone 4 is a poor design and an example of form over function. ...

It's clear to me that you wouldn't know good design even if you held it in the palm of your hand.
post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallest skil View Post

the suspense is killing me.

post #38 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Isn't that true of all department heads in big organizations? They answer only to the CEO?

Who did Cook answer to when Jobs was CEO?

Isn't there, for example, a CTO at Apple who answers only to the CEO? Who's the guy in charge of iOS development, for example? Who does he answer to? Beside the CEO?

Don't you know how companies work?
Do I have to draw you a picture?

post #39 of 103
I know it's been said before, but...

The difference between (the new, post 1997) Apple and the rest has been that design has taken precedence to function. It seems to me that the ideas started with "a device that is about this big, weighs this much, looks like this, and is able to do..." and didn't get out the door until Steve was happy that it was close enough, with the emphasis in that order. The rest of the industry tries to fit (cram!) as much engineering into a given form factor with the form factor losing if push comes to shove...

...and hence it only makes sense to leave Jony Ive in a position of autonomy and authority.

Not all of the Apple's design choices have been home runs...but I can think of very few times has design suffered to accommodate function...


I agree with the comments above about the keyboards and rodents...but then I suspect that Steve saw them as necessary evils...hence the magic trackpad and iPhones and iPads without them...and now Siri...as much as I am glad I learned to touch-type so many years ago, it is clear that (Steve's vision of) the future is keyboard-less!
post #40 of 103
I guess one could say that the "i" in iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, etc. stands for "Ive." His signature, perhaps?
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