Tag Archives: Apple

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney


  1. Kahney does a deep dive on perhaps the world’s most famous industrial designer, Jony Ive, and what makes him tick

Key Takeaways

  1. Jony is all about the work, the team. Starting with the basics, going back to first principles, remove anything non essential
  2. His talent came through from an early age. His father encouraged him and was a great builder himself. His Xmas present to Jony was free reign of his workshop and they’d build anything together, butt Jony had to hand draw the design
  3. Jony’s talent was not only in the design, but in the ability to communicate the design to non-designers. He learned and worked with a wide variety of people and disciplines from an early age. It is really rare to have the combination of design aesthetic and the ability to actually build it
  4. He was ego-free, humble and that combo with an immense talent is quite rare. No strong ideological ties was one of his mantras
  5. One of his early designs was a pen. While it was beautiful, what set it apart was that he added a clicking mechanism that didn’t actually do anything. He noticed people fiddled with their pens and wanted to fill that need
  6. Jony loved the work, the process. He was relentless, meticulous – making hundreds of iterations to get the design right. Not only that, he had to physically make it to truly understand if each subtle change was right or not. From early on, he came to love both the hardware and the software. He was able to zoom in and zoom out
  7. What something should be was always his starting point. He wanted to humanize technology and was able to ignore what came before him. He always adapted himself to the product, rather than the other way around. He avoided having a style or personal stamp, preferring to be a chameleon. His avoidance of style made his designs timeless and authentic
  8. Jony bought biology books to learn from nature. He loved the flow of water and natural movement
  9. Often began by asking “what is the story of this product?”
  10. Jony was a quiet leader and let his work speak for him. He hated awards and lead from the back
  11. Before Apple, Jony helped institute parallel design programs that had no timelines. This was their creative outlet where they could experiment and fail without repercussions
  12. It’s very easy to be different. It’s very difficult to be better
  13. Jobs and Ivy helped move Apple from an engineering-led to design-led company. They only worried about whether it was as good as it could be and if customers would love it. They didn’t worry about how much it would cost to make or if they would make money

What I got out of it

  1. Love Jony’s focus on simplicity, minimalism, elegance, and better understanding his role as a quiet leader, someone who let his work and his passion speak for him

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

  1. A very motivated man who had an uncanny ability to produce world-changing products. He was able to see into the future, know what customers wanted when they didn’t, build hype around the product launches and more. A genius on many fronts who also struggled relating to people at times and had a somewhat estranged family situation

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Key Takeaways

  1. Jobs was adopted by a nice but uneducated family. Father loved to build electrical things and cars
  2. Woz and Steve met because of their love of pranks and of electronics
  3. Went to Reed but soon dropped out. He spent some time in India to further study Zen Buddhism and other approaches to enlightenment.
  4. Woz created the first personal computer in June 1975 – Apple 1
  5. When he was 23 he impregnated Brennan but wouldn’t own up to it for many years. “He was an enlightened being who was cruel”Jobs let Xerox invest in Apple if they showed him their newest inventions. They agreed and showed him the graphical user interface and this would change the industry forever
  6. Jobs was eventually outvoted and became a non executive chairman of Apple and eventually left to start Next. It was mildly successful and when it was bought by Apple, Steve was part of the package
  7. Jobs fanatical diets reflected one of his core beliefs – asceticism leads to greater feelings later on. Things often lead to their opposites
  8. Only wanted things around him that he could admire (furniture, appliances, etc)
  9. Toy Story was an incredible success and soon after Pixar went public after Jobs had invested over $60m
  10. Jobs was fanatical about controlling the whole process. Software and hardware should be inextricably linked and with the new retail stores, he could control the buying process as well
  11. Jobs was not very forthcoming about his health to the public or even his board
  12. The iPad and multi touch technology actually came before the iPhone and had to be retrofitted
  13. The attention to detail of every aspect of the design and process is beautiful and inspiring
  14. Jobs was reluctant to let third parties design apps but then relented
  15. After many ups and downs with his health, jobs died on October 5, 2011

    What I got out of it

  1. Jobs was a maniac for detail and wanted to control the entire process, every input. He was often harsh and his reality distortion people frustrated and alienated a lot of people but he accomplished more than nearly anyone in this field