Jony Ive talks software design, Tim Cook, patience in newly released interview



The New York Times profiled Tim Cook’s leadership over the weekend, and there were a few quotes from design lead Jony Ive thrown in. But now the publication has published the entirety of what Ive, who rarely speaks in public, had to say about Apple, Cook, and how things have changed in the wake of the late Jobs’ death.

One of the bigger questions that Ive is asked is how the “innovation culture” at Apple has changed since Jobs’ death. He remains adamant that Steve Jobs left a lasting stamp on the company:

This is part of Steve’s legacy. Deep in the culture of Apple is this sense and understanding of design, developing and making. Form and the material and process – they are beautifully intertwined – completely connected. Unless we understand a certain material — metal or resin and plastic — understanding the processes that turn it from ore, for example – we can never develop and define form that’s appropriate.

Steve established a set of values, and he established preoccupations and tones that are completely enduring – and he established those principals with a small team of people. I’ve been ridiculously lucky to be part of it. But Tim was very much part of that team – for that last 15 or 20 years.

The Times also asked him how the design process at Apple has changed since he became lead of software interface. He says that some changes have happened within the “core creative community,” but that it might not be as dramatic as many assume:

The core creative community is very small but is also very close – there’s been changes there, but the change isn’t perhaps as dramatic as you might assume. One of the values of things I learned absolutely directly from Steve was the whole issue of focus. What are we focusing on: focus on product.

As for whether or not it’s hard for Apple to be patient as the world begs for the iWatch (or whatever products the company has coming in the pipeline), Ive says that it’s definitely hard — just as it was for Steve.

It is hard for us all to be patient. It was hard for Steve. It is hard for Tim. At any point in time, working on something, it’s always hard to just keep focusing on the product. One of the things different between us and some of our competitors is we just focus on the product, developing good products. Honestly, I don’t think anything’s changed. People felt exactly the same way when we were working on iPhone. The iPhone was broadly dismissed. The iPod was broadly dismissed. The iPad was probably more copiously written off as a large iPod.

The full article is definitely worth a read, so head over to The New York Times for the full transcript.

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